Reported Reuters news agency platform Video sharing TikTok may launch a group chat feature this year, putting the Chinese-owned app in more direct competition with social media competitors, such as Facebook.
The group chat is part of the owner company ByteDance’s plan to develop TikTok into more than just a social interaction app.
The feature has been part of the Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin, since 2019.
And the group chat function TikTok helps keep users in the app for a longer period.
The platform, which is especially popular among teens and young adults, is also expanding its live streaming and e-commerce offerings, and group chats will enable influencers to communicate more easily with fans.
ByteDance had internal discussions last year about introducing the group chat feature, but it stopped many updates after the app was exposed to an attempt to block it by the Trump administration in addition to being banned in India.
ByteDance is currently studying when and where it might trigger group chats via TikTok.
And the new administration of US President (Joe Biden) stopped a government lawsuit that could have led to an effective ban on the use of the app in the United States and the corporate sponsors returned to service.
The White House said last month that it had not taken a new preemptive step regarding the Trump administration’s plan for US TikTok operations acquired by US investors.
The Trump administration has claimed that TikTok raises national security concerns as the Chinese government can obtain the personal data of American users.
TikTok, which has more than 100 million users in the United States, denied the allegations.
It is possible that the group chat messaging service is not encrypted, andHany Farid, a digital expert and a member of the US advisory board for TikTok, said he had not been notified about the launch of group chats in the US.
But he added that the platform must be ready to deal with the risks that may come with the expansion of social messaging.
He said, “If you are a site the size of TikTok or Facebook, even if you are not encrypted, you still have to worry about how to modify these materials and deal with the damage.”