This week, TikTok posted job openings for engineers and product managers across Android and iOS willing to work on a social interaction team responsible for building new social engagement features, reported Axios.
“Social Interaction team is mainly focusing on building a reliable and adaptive platform that enables users to meet and interact with their real-life friends seamlessly on TikTok, and encourage them to share their life moments with each other and stay connected regardless of where they are,” the company wrote in a listing for an Android Engineer.
A separate TikTok Social Product Manager listing shows the company seeking “to expand the boundaries of TikTok by encouraging building meaningful social connections between users.”
To promote further in-app social engagement, TikTok is also looking to hire people who can build out the platform's direct-messaging feature, which it describes as being in “its infancy.”
While TikTok has a reputation for churning out user-based viral videos, many of those native videos acquire viral status via competing social platforms through a flurry of reposts.
'In creating more social engagement opportunities for its user base, TikTok is hoping to inspire more re-sharing in the app.
“Being an entertainment channel has always been and remains the core of TikTok's business model even as we experiment with new features to enhance the user experience,” a TikTok spokesperson told Axios.
However, the decision to bulk up its social engagement features ties into the platform’s ongoing shift into the e-commerce and live shopping space via TikTok Shop.
The more time users spend on the app sharing, reposting and discussing, the more likely they may be to respond to branded content and product offerings, and to make purchases.