For years, social media platforms have blatantly copied some of Snapchat’s most creative features. Instagram and parent company Facebook ripped off Stories — posts that disappear after 24 hours — which Snapchat created in 2013. Others followed suit with their own versions, including YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and just last week, Twitter.
Facebook and Instagram also followed Snapchat in introducing augmented reality filters, another popular Snapchat feature that allows users to overlay their faces with digital crowns, animal ears and other fun modifications.
Now, Snapchat is the one doing the copying.
On Monday, Snapchat unveiled a new section of its app called “Spotlight,” which could be seen as a twist on features from the popular short-form video app TikTok. Snapchat describes Spotlight as “a new entertainment platform for user-generated content within Snapchat.” The hub will surface the “most entertaining” Snaps from its user community and it will be personalized to people’s individual interests over time.
It should, as the feature resembles TikTok’s “For You Page,” the main place where people browse content on the platform, which has been lauded for expertly curating content to a user’s personal interests. TikTok also pulls in videos from both big social media stars and users with small followings. Like on TikTok, Snapchat’s Spotlight lets users create or upload a video, add captions, use special effects and add music or original sound.
Snapchat isn’t the only one taking inspiration from TikTok, which has exploded in popularity this year, especially with many people stuck at home during the pandemic. Instagram launched its own TikTok clone called Reels earlier this year, while YouTube began testing a new short-form video product called “Shorts.” These launches have come amid geopolitical turmoil for TikTok and its Chinese parent company, which have faced whiplash and confusion over its future in the United States.