Twitter wants to turn the Explore page into yet another TikTok clone

Twitter Explore Tiktok
Twitter Explore Tiktok (Image credit: Twitter Support)

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.

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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.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.

For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.