Short video platform TikTok may launch a group chat feature this year to compete more directly with social media giants like Facebook, Reuters said on March 17, citing sources.
The group chat feature is part of TikTok owner ByteDance's blueprint to develop TikTok as a "social interaction app," the report said.
ByteDance planned to launch the feature last year, but it was put on hold because of US sanctions, another source said.
Sources also said the group chat service may not be encrypted.
China's TikTok, Douyin, has already launched the feature in 2019.
TikTok is particularly popular among young people, and the group chat feature helps prolong users' usage, Reuters said.
TikTok has been expanding its live streaming and e-commerce products, so the group chat feature will allow popular users to better communicate with their fans.