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TikTok considers introducing a group chat feature this year

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Video-sharing platform TikTok may launch a group messaging feature this year, putting the Chinese-owned app in more direct competition with social media rivals such as Facebook, according to a source that has declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media, Reuters reported. 

Group messaging is part of owner ByteDance’s plan to develop TikTok into more of a “social interactions app”, one of the sources said that the feature has been part of the Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin since 2019.

A group chat function would help TikTok to keep users on the app longer. TikTok is particularly popular with teenagers and young adults and has also been expanding its live-streaming and e-commerce offerings. Group chats would enable influencers to more easily connect with fans.

ByteDance had internal discussions last year about introducing the group chat feature but put many updates on hold after the app came under fire from the Trump administration and was banned in India, the source said.

„TikTok is currently evaluating when and where it will launch group chats on its app. (…) The group chat messaging service is likely to be unencrypted,” said one of the sources.