As you can see in this video, posted by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the main Facebook user interface will now be divided into a “Home” feed, which will primarily focus on recommended content to keep you entertained, while you will also have a new UI’ tab “Feeds”, where you will be able to view the latest posts in different categories, including “Favorites”, “Friends”, “Groups”, etc.
The move changes the Facebook experience more in line with TikTok, which calls itself an “entertainment app,” not a social network.
TikTok’s main ‘For You’ feed absorbs the best and most engaging content from around the app, in line with your interests, making it a more compelling flow, since it’s not limited by your connections or your social graph. Meta is now trying to catch the same thing – but do Facebook users really want to try TikTok-esque with Facebook content?
As you can see here, over the next few weeks you’ll likely see a new prompt like this in the app, alerting you to the new experience.
This gives you a license for Facebook to show you what it thinks you’ll like in your main feed, where you can find your friends and the pages you follow in other tabs.
So you can expect to see a lot of video content in your main FB feed — which Zuckerberg says will provide the best of both worlds:
“One of the most requested features on Facebook is making sure you don’t miss friends’ posts. So today we’re launching a Feeds tab where you can see posts from your friends, groups, pages and more separately in chronological order. The app will still open to a custom feed on the Home tab, Our discovery engine will recommend the content we think you’ll be most interested in. But the Feeds tab will give you a way to further customize and control your experience.“
See, it’s not about Facebook showing you more content from across the app to keep you engaged, it’s about you, making it easier to find content you like.
I don’t think anyone buys this description, but it could work, as TikTok has already shown that recommended content is more compelling than your chosen streams, by getting your best posts from the largest possible group, this gives you more capacity to maximize your entertainment value.
I’m not sure that’s what people come to Facebook for, nor what they actually want from the app. Over time, Facebook has become the place to get the latest updates from friends and family, as Brand and Page posts energize your feed. Most people now check into Facebook every day to make sure they don’t miss any major updates, but then switch to other apps for entertainment throughout the day.
This, of course, means that people end up spending more time on other apps than on the social network, which is what Facebook is trying to address. But then again, do people really want to scroll through the latest and most popular videos in the main Facebook feed — and do people really want to switch tabs in the app to get the latest updates from friends and family?
I’d risk guessing that they don’t, on both fronts. But we’ll find out soon, with Meta sticking to the new approach, and starting a full-fledged launch live, rather than testing.
For brands, this can also be a problem, as users will have to switch to a separate feed to see your updates.
This could lead to your post’s reach going down again – which seems almost impossible, given that most pages see a 1 percent hit.
But, as Ian Malcolm once said, “Life finds a way.” In this case, Facebook has found a new way – and I’m not sure it’s the way people would really want to see it go.
The update is rolling out to both iOS and Android as of today.