Like Spotify, Instagram, Twitter and more copy features like For You page

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Social media platforms have a long history of differentiating ideas, but as TikTok grows in popularity, competing platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and even Spotify are adopting their own versions of TikTok’s endorsed For You page and its endless-scrolling video format .


August 5, 2020While the explosion of TikTok was still fresh, Instagram introduced its own take on short-form video content: Reels, which could be as short as 15 seconds at launch but now max out at 90 seconds, work like TikTok videos and can be shared with anyone, not just a user’s followers, a feature of the company said will give people “a chance to become a creator.”

Sept 2020Shortly after TikTok was banned in India, youtube has released its own algorithmic video sharing feature, YouTube Shorts, in the country, allowing users to create 15-second videos with lots of creative tools and music options.

November 23, 2020Snapchat launched its Spotlight feature, a TikTok-like algorithm-based vertical video sharing feed (and offered creators millions to encourage them to post viral content).

July 13, 2021youtube Shorts launched globally after racking up billions of views per day in its limited release after months of beta testing in India and the United States.

July 26, 2022head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, responding to the backlash, said the app has become too much like TikTok that “more and more of Instagram will move to video over time.”

January 10, 2023As part of a large number of controversial innovations Twitter CEO Elon Musk made it to the platform that an update would break a user’s timeline into “Following” and “For her” tabs, the latter being an algorithm-based timeline that recommends tweets on topics that users have engaged with.

March 8, 2023Spotify announced a redesign of its homepage that lets users scroll vertically through a TikTok-like video feed of music and podcast recommendations.

key background

Social media platforms that copy the features of others are nothing new — and so has TikTok. TikTok merged with in 2018 after the latter launched in 2014; both have drawn many comparisons to Vine, a now-defunct social media platform that Twitter acquired in 2012 and summarily shut down four years later, for their short-form video-sharing format and humor. More recently, TikTok has introduced features like Now, which prompts users at a random time each day to post a short video or photo from their front and back phone cameras to show followers what they’re up to. It’s a near-identical clone of BeReal, whose brand revolved around the same feature without video support. Instagram is also working on its own version. But lifting features from competing platforms is way ahead of TikTok. In 2016, Instagram controversially added a Stories feature, a clone of the feature that helped make Snapchat a global success.

main critic

Twitter and Spotify have been criticized by some for their new TikTok-like features in recent months. “It’s wild to watch tech companies tear apart their user interfaces and business models to compete with TikTok because they can’t do the only thing that makes TikTok work, which is the AI ​​that powers it,” tech writer Ryan Broderick tweeted following Spotify’s announcement last week. Similar, insider Tech Editor Kyle Wilson tweeted: “Only Eww. Not everything should be TikTok. Spotify was fine the way it is…” Twitter’s new For You page has drawn similar criticism from Twitter users, who consider it an unnecessary and confusing update. “Your Twitter page is really good because it gives me the exact opposite of what I would like to see,” said one user tweeted. Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian also spoke out against the switch from Instagram to video in July 2022, sharing a post that read “Make Instagram Instagram Again” and urging the platform to stop trying to be like TikTok. Chrissy Teigen tweeted in response to Mosseri’s statement that Instagram would continue to transition to video content: “We don’t want to do videos Adam lol.”

Big number

1 billion. This is the number of active monthly users that TikTok surpassed in September 2021. It’s still behind competitors like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, despite hitting the 1 billion mark faster than anyone else.


TikTok has more to fear than competition from other social media platforms. Some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are pushing to ban TikTok in the United States, citing national security and privacy concerns for the Chinese platform.

Further reading

Spotify’s new design is part TikTok, part Instagram and part YouTube (The Verge)

The internet is unhappy with Spotify’s new design (Mashable)

All Social Media Giants Will Be Equal (Wired)

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