The ‘TikTokification’ Of Everything Needs to Stop

Spotify is the latest company to copy TikTok — but at what cost?

Stephen Moore

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Image: Morning Brew

If you can’t beat them, join them.

This phrase appropriately describes the tech industry over the last five years. Innovation has been drying up, replaced by frenzied copying and maniac desperation to implement the current trend into a product, regardless of whether it makes sense to do so.

The king of copying has been Meta, with its Copy-Acquire-Kill approach. The company has also been the king of failing, with most of its imitations performing miserably before being quietly swept under the rug.

I bring up Meta not to dunk (okay, a little) but because there is a valuable lesson in its fumbling strategy — users don’t want their apps and products stuffed full of identical features.

I guess Spotify didn’t get the memo.

Lets get vertical

It will come as no surprise that the current trend is TikTok. Or rather, it’s the short-form video with infinite scroll format that the platform has revolutionized. And, because it gets users addicted and keeps eyeballs engaged with effectiveness not seen since peak Instagram, everyone wants a piece of that pie.

Despite pushback from creators and power users, Meta has been turning Instagram into a TikTok clone. The company even declared it’s “no longer a photo-sharing app or a square photo-sharing app.” Snapchat added a similar feature called Spotlight. YouTube went all in on its ‘Shorts’ feature.

If it weren’t enough to have all the platforms you (once) loved slowly morph into the same, tiresome experience, the ‘TikTokification’ trend is spilling out beyond social media — and into our music players.

In its recent Stream On event, Spotify revealed that it too will borrow (read: steal) from TikTok, with an update to its feed that will prioritize video content. The new feed is heavy on imagery and, yes, vertical scrolling, turning your home screen into something that much more closely resembles TikTok and Instagram. Yaaaaaayyyy.

The podcast dilemma

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