Twitter wants to turn the Explore page into yet another TikTok clone
What you need to know
- A new Twitter Explore beta is a full-screen feed which lets you swipe between different tweets and videos.
- The interface resembles a stripped-down TikTok, with options to view Trending or personalized For You videos.
- The beta is available "for some of you who use Twitter in English on Android and iOS," but you may not have it yet.
Twitter is the latest app to try and piggyback on the popularity of TikTok, with a new simplified interface that emphasizes one tweet or video at a time instead of showing a crowded newsfeed.
While the tweet doesn't really explain how it works, it appears to be a vertical-scrolling feed where each tweet fills up the screen, letting you swipe through them one by one. It's not clear from this example if Explore will focus on video / GIF tweets, or if you'll see regular text tweets as well.
*checks Explore tab*
If it's looking different, then you're in our latest test: a new Explore experience to help you discover the best content that's trending. Available in certain countries for some of you who use Twitter in English on Android and iOS. pic.twitter.com/PGQwMT8r8B*checks Explore tab*
If it's looking different, then you're in our latest test: a new Explore experience to help you discover the best content that's trending. Available in certain countries for some of you who use Twitter in English on Android and iOS. pic.twitter.com/PGQwMT8r8B— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) December 8, 2021December 8, 2021
It sure looks like TikTok, at least. The Twitter Explore text takes up far less of the screen, and is missing some of the TikTok video and creation options, plus the TikTok metadata you get on a video. But it at least differentiates itself from a typical Twitter feed, so some TikTok fans might find the navigation format comfortably familiar.
The Twitter Explore beta is available now on some iOS and Android phones in English-speaking territories, but we don't know the scope or criteria for receiving it. None of our staff have received it yet, though it could arrive soon.
Twitter started testing edge-to-edge videos and photos on its apps a few months back, making multimedia much easier to see with more horizontal space. Now, Twitter wants to spread content across the entire phone, which seems like a natural progression.
This is one of the first new initiatives launched on Twitter since Jack Dorsey stepped down as CEO, replaced by CTO Parag Agarwal. This new update must have been in the works during Dorsey's tenure, but we could theoretically begin to see some fundamental changes to Twitter's UI and policies beginning next year.
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Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.