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TikTok tests ‘streaks’ feature to keep users hooked, mimicking Snapchat’s success

Popular video-sharing app TikTok is testing a new feature that borrows from rival Snapchat’s playbook – “streaks”. The addition is to encourage daily habits and consistent engagement among TikTok’s massive user base.

The streak concept comes from Snapchat, where users can keep a streak meter alive by exchanging snaps (photos or videos) with friends for consecutive days. A fire emoji appears next to a friend’s name, along with a number indicating the length of the streak. If either user fails to send a Snap within a 24-hour window, the streak resets to zero.

This feature taps into psychological principles such as gamification and social validation, motivating users to open the app daily to maintain their streak. It creates a sense of commitment and turns usage into a habit, contributing to Snapchat’s stickiness among younger audiences.

Now, TikTok is testing its version of Streaks with a limited group of users in select regions. To start a streak, users must exchange direct messages with someone for more than three consecutive days. Once this threshold is reached, a streak badge will appear in the chat window, showing the number of days the streak has lasted.

The streak ends if neither user sends a message within 24 hours of the last exchange. However, TikTok will notify users when their streak is about to expire, giving them a chance to keep it alive. Users can also turn off these notifications in the app’s settings.

While TikTok has not officially confirmed a wider rollout, the presence of the feature in testing suggests a possible public release to its more than 1.5 billion monthly active users shortly. Some users have already started posting about the feature on social media platforms such as X (formerly Twitter), suggesting its imminent arrival.

This wouldn’t be the first time TikTok has borrowed successful strategies from other apps to boost user engagement. In May, the social media giant announced it was testing 60-minute video uploads to offer longer content formats and compete with video giant YouTube.