Mark Zuckerberg and other Meta executives have made it clear that competing with TikTok is their top priority. Now, we have more details on how they plan to completely overhaul the Facebook app to make that happen.
The memo, from Tom Alison, head of Facebook apps at Meta, says that the goal is to turn Facebook into a “Discovery Engine” that relies heavily on recommendations, similar to the “For For” feed friend” of TikTok. Recommendations come mainly from “unconnected” content, including Stories, and users will see fewer posts from friends and family in their feeds. The plan will also bring Messenger’s inbox back to the Facebook app in an effort to encourage users to share more content from the “Discovery Engine.”
It’s not clear how long it will take for Meta to implement these changes, some reflection changes have occurred . But this is not the first time that Meta . executives before the big changes coming to the Facebook app, or even when we first heard of the upcoming shift from the social network to the “Discovery Engine”. Zuckerberg said that the company is in the midst of a “major shift” that will change feed dynamics to emphasize AI-driven recommendations on users’ social graphs.
However, the memo from Alison makes clear how important the new priorities are to the company, which is desperately trying to catch up with TikTok.
But moving to more recommendations could also be problematic for the company. The company’s current recommendation algorithms were blamed for mining and wrong information. While Alison told The Verge Given that there will be stricter rules for recommended content, the company often struggles to enforce its own. And, notably, in his memo, Alison states that the company is changing its view of its obligation to reduce “negative experiences.”
“’Reducing negative experiences’ has been dropped as a product priority as it is more closely aligned with the product culture we are trying to build throughout the ‘Trustworthy’ approach, ‘People-Centered’ and ‘Unified,'” Alison writes. “Our focus is on doing this holistically across all of our products as a permanent part of our culture. ours instead of a short-term priority.”
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