Facebook is reportedly planning a major redesign of the social media platform in order to complete with TikTok. Mark Zuckerberg and other Meta executives have made it clear for some time that competing with TikTok is their top priority and the company has plans for a complete overhaul in order to achieve that target.
The social network is working on a major redesign of the Facebook’s main Feed that would heavily emphasize recommended content from pages, creators, and people you don’t already follow, according to a memo from Facebook executive that was published by The Verge.
Tom Alison, who heads up the Facebook app at Meta, states that the goal is to shift Facebook into a ‘Discovery Engine,” which would heavily rely on recommendations, similar to TikTok’s “For You” Feed. These recommendations would come mainly from unconnected content, including Reels, and users would see fewer posts from friends and family in their Feeds.
Furthermore, the company plans to bring back Messenger to the Facebook app in an effort to encourage users to share more content from said “Discovery Engine.” However, it is unclear how long it will take for these changes to be implemented by Meta.
It is pertinent to mention that Mark Zuckerberg had already announced that the company was in the midst of a major shift back in April. He added that it would change the dynamics of Feeds to emphasize AI-driven recommendations over users’ social graphs.
Facebook has been trying to catch up to TikTok for some time now and the memo has made it clear on how important the new priorities are for the company. However, the shift to more recommendations could also be problematic for the company as its current algorithms have been blamed for exploiting divisiveness and promoting misinformation.
Tom Alison has told The Verge that there would be stricter rules for recommended content, but the company has often struggled to enforce its own rules. He added that the company is changing the way it views its obligation to reduce “negative experiences.”
“‘Reducing negative experiences’ has been removed as a product priority since it’s more aptly tied to the product culture we are trying to build throughout our approach of being ‘Trustworthy,’ ‘People-Centric,’ and ‘Unified,’” Alison wrote. “Our focus is doing this holistically across all of our products as a permanent part of our culture as opposed to a short-term priority.”
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