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WATCH: TikTok and Meta’s latest moves signal greater commoditization of the internet

The internet’s big platforms are slowly merging into a bunch of the same stuff, and even the world’s hottest companies aren’t immune to this trend. TikTok’s winning strategy of focusing on short, vertical videos has found fans among other internet platforms, and now TikTok is taking a leaf out of its rival’s book, reportedly building on their popularity.

TikTok is working to launch a new app called TikTok Notes that will allow users to post images, in an apparent bid to compete with Instagram, which is best known for its still photo sharing feature. Of course, Instagram itself has expanded into videos and stories, taking pieces of other services and integrating them into its own offerings.

Other services from Instagram parent company Meta are also frequent borrowers. This is true of almost every social service you can imagine. Recall that the boom in Stories led everyone from Line to Spotify, Instagram to LinkedIn to try out the popular sharing format. If it works for one social media service, other social media services will follow suit in some way at some point—probably sooner rather than later.

There is good logic behind this effort. The answer is why X wants to be a super app; the more a service provides to its user base, the more time they will spend within the app. Expanding the feature set can increase engagement time, thereby increasing the revenue a social media service can earn. At the same time, bloat is a real problem that impairs user experience and renders apps in a timely manner, like Facebook.

The theme – the slow commoditization of digital services identicalization – similar to why we see LinkedIn trying to emulate the New York Times’ gaming prowess, and to some extent why the major platform companies in tech end up trying to be good at everything: the never-ending need to grow revenue . Maybe that’s why your favorite apps always feel more and more like an alien world as time goes by. It’s going to move away from what makes it special and unique, but because sticking to those guns isn’t the way to create a service that the most people use. To do this, you need to be Facebook.

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