Facebook reportedly sent an internal memo to its employees directing them to transform their app’s feed to function similarly to TikTok. Meta executives supposedly had concerns regarding the booming growth of TikTok, which has appeared as a legitimate challenger to the dominance of Facebook in the social media space. Furthermore, the stagnant growth of Facebook, especially among the youth, has reportedly forced Meta to rethink the Facebook feed. However, employees have reportedly raised concerns regarding the social media giant’s aggressive stance on copying TikTok and straying away from Facebook’s original mission of connecting friends and families.
According to the report by The Verge, Facebook app head Tom Alison shared an internal memo in late April that is said to lay out a plan for the Facebook app to start heavily recommending posts from any source instead of prioritising posts from accounts that people follow. This approach is similar to TikTok, which is expected to triple its advertisement revenue in 2022 exceeding the combined sales of Twitter, and Snapchat. The report further adds that Meta may also be planning to recombine Messenger and Facebook to mimic TikTok’s messaging functionality.
The new Facebook feed is expected to offer a mixture of Stories and Reels at the top. Alison purportedly mentions in the memo that the company’s new goal should be developing a new AI-based “discovery engine”, which would then sort out posts from both Facebook and Instagram. The layout is expected to be video-heavy with a clear option to share a post directly with a friend. The redesigned interface could also result in Groups being given their separate panel to the left of the feed, similar to Discord’s layout.
With Meta facing increased scrutiny due to its failure to spot hateful posts on its platforms, the decision to lean heavily on AI could put even more pressure on the social media giant while making decisions to boost certain posts over others. Facebook is reportedly working on a project codenamed ‘Mr. T’, which would provide users with a chronological version of their Feed populated by posts from groups, pages, and friends.
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