For many years, Facebook was the king of the social media space. But one day TikTok came, dethroned Facebook and became the new ruler. Now comes the question: does Facebook intend to retake its kingdom?
Well, Facebook wants to become the number one social platform again, and as far as how it plans to do that, the answer is – drumroll please, we’re trying to ramp up the tension here – to become more like TikTok.
The people of The edge got their hands on a leaked April internal memo written by Tom Alison, the head of the Facebook app. According to the document, Meta wants to turn Facebook’s main feed into a “Discovery Engine,” which, like TikTok’s “For You” page, will rely on recommendations.
In the revamped version of the Facebook feed, you’ll see fewer posts from your friends and more suggested, “disconnected” content, which will likely be mostly reels. As Alison said, “the biggest gap today” for Facebook is the short video factor. This is why Meta’s plans are to “make Reels successful” on the platform.
However, Alison reassured concerned employees that Facebook will not deviate from its core mission and will always prioritize sharing between friends and family. It’s very possible that Facebook still keeps a “Friends” tab, showing you only a feed of content posted by your contacts and no one else.
Meta also wants to bring the Messenger inbox back to the Facebook app. Yes, a few years ago Facebook deliberately split the two apps and now it wants to reunite them. The reason behind this decision is that people share more content through private messaging services than through Facebook’s feed. That is why Meta Messenger wants to make a more fundamental part of Facebook again.
The end result will most likely be a Facebook feed with mostly Stories and Roles, combined with more “disconnected” posts that the discovery engine will recommend to you. It will probably be a more visual experience than it is now.
Now, Meta’s plans for Facebook to provide a similar experience to TikTok can bring a younger audience to the platform. After all, many people are addicted to the short video form factor. So with such an overhaul of the Facebook app, young people may come back to the platform. But not all Meta employees agree with the coming changes.
Some current and former Meta employees believe that with this revamp of Facebook, the platform will move away from its main purpose of connecting you with your friends and family. There are also employees who think it will be profitable to become more like TikTok in the beginning, but it will hurt Facebook’s growth in the long run.
However, on the latest Meta earnings call, Zuckerberg stated that people spend half their time on Facebook watching videos. So this means we’ve changed the way we use the platform. That’s why it might not be such a bad thing that Facebook is starting to look more like TikTok.
We don’t know when the changes described in the memo will be implemented, but it will certainly be interesting to see what effect this revision will have. Will it help Facebook regain its position as the number one social media? Well, sooner or later we’ll find out.