Snapchat is testing a new way for users to explore public content by swiping in a vertical motion, the company confirmed to TechCrunch. The new experience was spotted by a Twitter user who shared an image of the pop-up in the app explaining how to use the new interface.
If it looks familiar to you, that's because this navigation style is akin to TikTok's vertical swiping gesture for moving through public videos in the "For You" page. The new Snapchat gesture applies to content in the Discover page, where videos are available to the public.
There is a video of the update (sorry for the bad quality I record it with my phone) pic.twitter.com/gFZXlMFBBJ— Arthur 🥰 (@artb2668) July 13, 2020
The platform's existing navigation method allows users to move between videos via a horizontal swiping motion. However, this is no longer the case in the new format as swiping left or right leads users out of the experience. Snap reveals that this is just one of the experiments it's conducting in an effort to organize community content in an immersive way.
As TechCrunch noted, the experiment comes at a time when TikTok is facing the threat of being banned in the U.S. due to security concerns. In India, the app was among the 59 Chinese mobile apps banned by the government over diplomatic tensions.
For now, this capability is available only to a small percentage of Snapchat's user base. The company also confirmed that the feature is in an early stage of testing, with no word on when it will be rolled out widely.