Friday, September 22, 2023

Facebook is revamping its home feed to be more like TikTok. to feel

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

Facebook’s almighty news feed is being split in half… sort of. Today it announces two feeds that can now be found in its iOS and Android apps. Home is the new name for the tab you see when you first open the app and is designed for algorithm-based discovery with roles, stories, and other personalized content. Then there’s an all-new Feeds tab, which contains recent posts from friends, groups, Facebook pages, and favorites, with no “Suggested for You” posts in sight.

The two tabs can be accessed from both the iOS and Android versions of the Facebook app, where they appear in the shortcuts bar today. Meta’s press release says the content of this bar is designed to change based on which tabs users spend the most time on, but tabs can be pinned to ensure their positions don’t change. The company expects the updates to be rolled out worldwide in the coming week.

The Feeds tab shows recent posts from pages you follow.
Image: Meta

“One of Facebook’s most requested features is making sure people don’t miss out on friends’ posts,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post announcing the changes. “So today we’re launching a Feeds tab where you can see posts from your friends, groups, pages and more individually in chronological order. The app still opens a personalized feed in the Home tab, where our discovery engine recommends the content we think you’ll find most important. But the Feeds tab gives you a way to further customize and manage your experience.”

Splitting the feed in this way seems to be an attempt to balance Meta’s desire for Facebook to become more like TikTok — which recommends platform-wide content based on what the algorithms think you might be interested in. – and the historical approach to focusing on the accounts and pages people actually follow. But making the newly renamed Home feed the default shows where Meta’s priorities for Facebook lie, and Meta says the feed will become “more of a discovery machine” in the future.

It’s important to note that the Home tab will still display messages from friends and family, but they will be surrounded by recommendations chosen by a machine learning ranking system. There are also still ads in the Feed tab. So it sounds like there will still be some overlap between the two.

The move shows how much Facebook’s core news feed has changed over the years as it has had to respond to emerging trends from other social media players. And, in 2022, the big threat is TikTok. Meta’s effort to more or less directly clone the social media platform with Lasso stalled after just 18 months, and the company’s focus has subsequently shifted to Instagram’s Reels to capitalize on the short video format’s popularity.

But the danger of TikTok has not passed. Facebook, the company’s main social media platform, lost daily users for the first time in the last quarter of 2021, and although the platform grew again in the first quarter of this year, it is now growing more slowly than ever as TikTok spends time on both it and Instagram. With today’s changes, Facebook is paving the way for the adoption of algorithmically recommended feeds more than ever.

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