This is interesting – TikTok is currently testing a new ‘Repost’ option with some users which enables them to re-share TikTok clips to their followers, with the re-posted clip then displayed in their connections’ feeds.
As you can see in this screenshot, posted by user Kev Adriano (and shared by Matt Navarra) some users can now see a new ‘Repost’ button in their sharing options, which essentially amplifies that clip by re-sharing it in both the ‘Following’ and ‘For You’ feeds of your connections.
When you re-post a clip, your connections will be able to see that you’ve re-shared it in the video details, along with any comments you’ve added to the clip.
So it’s another way to boost clips that you like, and share them with all of your friends at once, as opposed to sending each clip individually – though it is interesting to see TikTok experimenting with re-sharing in this way while other social and messaging platforms are considering the negative impacts of such on their user engagement.
Twitter, for example, removed straight re-tweets as an option in the lead up to last year’s US election, in an effort to slow the blind amplification of political messaging and misinformation. Twitter’s data showed that this approach kind of worked in prompting more thoughtful discussion via tweets, while WhatsApp has also implemented rules to limit the re-distribution of messages within its systems in order to stop the spread of viral hoaxes and misinformation around the pandemic.
By making it easier to re-distribute posts, that then increases the potential of misinformation being more widely shared, as it’s just a tap away. And while TikTok isn’t necessarily known as a key source of misinfo and harmful hoax campaigns, adding the capacity to more easily re-share does provide more potential on this front, which could be problematic.
But then again, maybe TikTok simply sees this as a means to increase engagement by amplifying videos between friends that they all know each other will like.
The option is not available to all users as yet, so TikTok could still roll it back, but it could provide another way to boost re-distribution, if you can prompt users to re-post your clips.