Facebook wants to better compete with TikTok and the changes it’s making to do that likely mark the end of the social network as we use to do it. No longer will Facebook be primarily a place to connect with friends and acquaintances.
Now, it’ll have an addicting scroll similar to TikTok with an algorithm feeding you videos, pictures and other posts that it thinks you’ll like.
It means you’re more likely to see random pet videos or get recipes from cooking influencers over posts.
Meta announce the big changes to Facebook and Instagram last week.
“Home” will now be the main tab when you open Facebook.
A company announcement call as the new main screen a “discovery engine” to find “fresh, entertaining content.”
Any public video shorter than 15 minutes you share to Instagram will now automatically be a reel, and “may be eligible to be recommend and seen by more people.”
So, if you aren’t getting your fill of endlessly scrolling through viral videos from strangers on TikTok, Facebook has you cover.
If you want to more directly see what your friends or follows are up to, you’ll have to go to another tab called “Feeds,” which won’t be the default home screen.
Meta’s changes value algorithm-based engagement or consumption over connection.
They reflect a time when tech and entertainment companies alike are battling over consumers’ attention, whether it be on social-media platforms or streaming services.
How Facebook has evolved over the years?
- When Facebook first launch the main “News Feed” in 2006, it was a straight forward page of friends’ statuses.
- Over time, Facebook’s feed has morph, and this isn’t the first algorithm-driven move it’s made.
- In 2009, an algorithm start to dictate what users saw first in the feed, and it prioritize more interesting life updates of users’ connections.
- In 2018, it introduce an update that would “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.”.
But this latest update is the biggest move yet away from Facebook as a social network and closer to TikTok, which grew at an impressive pace during the pandemic likely too fast for Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg not to take notice.
TikTok had just over 500 million global active users by the end of 2019, in September 2021, TikTok said it had more than 1 billion.
Facebook had 2.9 billion monthly active users as of March this year but it’s been around for nearly two decades.
The end of the social network doesn’t mean the end of social media.
But it does mean the end of social-media platforms acting as places to make “meaningful” connections with others.
As Facebook, like TikTok, just wants to entertain you, and keep you on the app as long as possible.
People you know will rarely factor into that goal.