TikTok’s looking to build more even compulsion into the app, this time via DM streaks, which are activated when users maintain daily messaging interaction.

TikTok Streaks

As you can see in this image, posted by app researcher Radu Oncescu, TikTok’s now alerting some users that they’ve activated a DM streak in the app, which also sees a fire emoji and a streak count placed next to your chat.

As per TikTok:

“Unlock a streak by sending messages to each other for three consecutive days. The streak will end if both of you didn’t message each other in the last 24 hours.”

Seems like they might need to tweak that copy a bit, but essentially, TikTok’s copying Snap’s popular streaks feature, which will also likely see it add unique emoji for longer streaks, and potentially other rewards in future.

So why would TikTok want to add this?

Because many Snap users, who are demographically similar to TikTok’s core audience, are very dedicated to their DM streaks.

Some Snap users have maintained 6 year long streaks (and counting), with the compulsion to keep their streaks going bringing them back to the app every day.

Indeed, failing to maintain a streak can also have social consequences.

As per Where I Can Be Me:

To some, slacking off on a Snap streak is seen as a major offense. A broken streak can be disappointing. In extreme cases, it can cause drama, and lead to rifts in the friendship. When your favorite app is essentially keeping score of your friendships, it’s easy to get caught up.”

Given that it is such a compelling element of the Snapchat experience, it makes sense that TikTok would also consider trying it out, at the least. Messenger and BeReal have also tried variations of the same to incentivize engagement.

So will it work? Well, again, it already does on Snap, so there’s clear precedent to suggest that gamifying engagement like this will keep TikTok users more active in their DMs.

But it feels a little hollow, right? It feels like forced engagement, which isn’t driven by actual, social impetus.

But if it gets more people to open the app more often, that also means more opportunity for TikTok, so why not try it out?

We’ve asked TikTok for more info on the scale and scope of its streaks test, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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