Your Facebook feed is getting an update, which, at least in theory, could make it easier to find content from friends and family, while also enabling Meta to show you more recommended content, with a focus on video posts.
As you can see in this video, posted by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s main UI will now be split into a ‘Home’ feed, which will primarily focus on recommended content to keep you entertained, while you’ll also have a new ‘Feeds’ tab, where you’ll be able to view the latest posts in different categories, including ‘Favorites’, ‘Friends’, ‘Groups’, etc.
The move shifts the Facebook experience more into line with TikTok, which calls itself an ‘entertainment app’, not a social network.
TikTok’s main ‘For You’ feed sucks in the best, most engaging content from across the app, aligned to your interests, which makes it a much more compelling stream, as it’s not restricted by your connections or your own social graph. Meta’s now trying to latch onto the same – but do Facebook users really want a TikTok-esque experience 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.
That essentially gives Facebook license to show you whatever it thinks you’ll like in your main feed, as you can find your friends and Pages you follow in the other tabs.
So you can expect to see a lot more video content in your main FB feed – which Zuckerberg says will provide the best of both worlds:
“One of the most requested features for Facebook is to make sure people 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 personalized feed on the Home tab, where our discovery engine will recommend the content we think you'll care most about. But the Feeds tab will give you a way to customize and control your experience further.”
See, it’s not about Facebook showing you more content from across the app to keep you engaged, it’s for you, to make it easier to find the content you like.
I don’t think anyone’s buying that description, but it just might work, with TikTok already showing that recommended content is more compelling than your own chosen streams, and that by sourcing your top posts from the biggest possible pool, that gives you more capacity to maximize entertainment value.
I’m just 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, with brand and Page posts spicing up your feed. Most people now check in with Facebook each day to ensure that they don’t miss any key updates, but then switch to other apps for entertainment throughout the day.
That, of course, means that people end up spending a lot more time in other apps than they do on The Social Network, which is what Facebook’s trying to address. But again, do people really want to scroll through the latest, most popular videos in their main Facebook feed – and do people really want to have to switch tabs in the app to get the latest updates from friends and family?
I’d hazard a guess that they don’t, on either front. But we’ll soon find out, with Meta making a commitment to the new approach, and going with a full launch straight up, as opposed to a test.
For brands, too, that could also be problematic, as users will have to switch to a separate feed to see your updates.
That could see your post reach decline yet again – which seems almost impossible, given most Pages are seeing single digit % reach.
But, as Ian Malcolm once said, ‘life finds a way’. In this case, it’s Facebook that’s found a new way – and I’m not sure it’s the way that people will really want to see it go.
The update is being rolled out on both iOS and Android from today.