TikTok trials ‘Nearby’ feed – becoming the ultimate ‘super app?’

New tool places social app in direct competition with classified apps like Yelp and Google in the race for geo-targeted ad dollars – a boost for local businesses?

TikTok is testing a new ‘Nearby’ feed that displays local content to users. The new feed will display content shared by users near your current location.

The feature is being tested alongside one that will allow creators to add location tags to their videos.

TikTok isn’t the first platform to incorporate tools to support local content discovery. Earlier this year, Instagram launched a searchable map, and Snapchat’s Snap Map has been around since 2017.

Taking on Yelp and Google to become a ‘super app’

The move comes as TikTok is starting to combine its local, search, social, and commerce, as it moves from being an entertainment app to become a super app – a web application that can provide multiple services including payment and financial transaction processing.

Location-based recommendations, especially when combined with TikTok’s powerful algorithm, would let the platform add another layer of personalisation to their users’ already highly curated feeds. 

The move should worry classified apps like Yelp and mapping giants like Google. The Nearby feature could be a game-changer for local businesses and creators alike, from plumber recommendations, food photos and local attraction and event searches. 

This latest update comes as reports continue to suggest that Gen Z uses apps like TikTok and Instagram for search, instead of Google.