It appears as though the student has become the master.
After Instagram notoriously pilfered Snapchat’s flagship Stories format — and the Facebook-owned photo sharer began piloting a TikTok copycat product in Brazil called Reels — it looks like two can play the copycat game. Bytedance-owned TikTok, a music and meme-making app favored by Gen Z, may have looked to Instagram in readying a potential redesign.
The TikTok test, first spotted by New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz, shifts users’ profile photos, bios, and follower counts to the top left of the screen, with a large ‘follow’ button next to them on the top right — and outside platform links below that. Previously, all of this information had been centered, with the follow button below user stats.
”We’re always looking for ways to improve the user experience on TikTok,” a spokesperson told The Verge. “We are currently testing profile designs and functionality to ultimately give users more ways to personalize and engage with their profiles.”
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Instagram parent company Facebook, has previously blasted TikTok for allegedly censoring content in accordance with the aims of the Chinese government. That said, Instagram is developing a product called Reels in Brazil that enables users to create TikTok-like content and share these clips to their Stories. The most popular Reels are also being collected in a new trending section within Instagram’s ‘Explore’ tab called ‘Top Reels’. The test, on iOS and Android, is exclusively available in Brazil, where the product is dubbed Cenas.
Looks like TikTok is redesigning user profiles to look almost exactly like Instagram (new design vs old) pic.twitter.com/uQAHPwaZoh
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) February 3, 2020