To the untrained eye, it’s hard to distinguish between a TikTok post and the videos you’ll find on Snack, a new video-based dating app. And there’s a very good reason for that. “When we came up with the idea for Snack,” said founder Kim Kaplan, who was previously an executive at Plenty of Fish, a dating app bought by the Match Group for $575 million, “it was purely based off of the growth of TikTok.”
On Kaplan’s app, short, informal, often lip-synced videos replace the static photo-and-profile format of Tinder and Bumble. Users vertically swipe through potential dates like they’re browsing social media. There’s no limit on the number of videos users can upload, and these videos can include actual TikToks exported from a personal account. “TikTok taught people how to create really compelling 15- to 30-second videos of themselves,” said Kaplan. “And it was that educational piece that then made it acceptable for video-first applications like Snack.”
The app is far from alone in its blatant cloning of the world’s most visited website. Since TikTok’s pandemic-era rise, consumer tech companies of all kinds have been copycatting some or all of the platform’s attributes. And why wouldn’t they? TikTok’s ad revenue is likely to exceed $11 billion in 2022, more than that of two competitors, Twitter and Snapchat, combined.