TechCrunch reports that, according to social media consultant Matt Navarra, Snapchat is testing a TikTok-like format for its discover page. The company later confirmed that it is testing out the feature in one of its experiments for Snapchat Discover, but did not disclose any further details.
TikTok users might feel like the vertical swipe is just the way to go and is a natural way to move through videos. It feels rather disorienting to return to Snapchat, Instagram, or other apps that use horizontal swipes, which might be why other apps are moving to TikTok-like features.
Snapchat’s New Navigation UX
Matt Navarra spotted the feature and cited a tweet from Twitter user @artb2668. He shared the screenshot of the test showing a pop-up explaining how to navigate the new experience.
There is a video of the update (sorry for the bad quality I record it with my phone) pic.twitter.com/gFZXlMFBBJ
— Arthur 🥰 (@artb2668) July 13, 2020
The new look will focus on the content published publically on the discover page, meaning that the new format will not apply to private stories. Public stories by channels can have several parts to them. Users will still use a single tap to advance through the stories and a horizontal swipe (either left or right), will exit the story.
Snapchat has declined to reveal any specific details about the feature but clarifies that the design is in the early stages and can be viewed by a very small user base. A spokesperson said:
“We’re always experimenting with new ways to bring immersive and engaging content to our mobile-first Snapchat community.”
On the other hand, the timing for the update couldn’t be better for Snapchat, as TikTok is going through a rough phase of trust deficit. The government ordered TikTok restrictions in India, with a possible ban coming soon in U.S, Hong Kong, and Australia. Amazon instructed its employees to remove TikTok from their company-issues smartphones as well but took back their request a few days later.
Amid the ongoing threat of TikTok’s removal, rival social media platforms like Byte, Dubsmach, Triller, and more, have been trying to expand their TikTok-like features. Instagram has also been expanding its feature ‘Reels‘ to newer markets.