What The Tech: Facebook and Tiktok

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For over 10 years, people have logged onto Facebook to read posts from friends, share baby pictures and memories, and reconnect with old friends. But Meta, Facebook’s parent company is hearing footsteps from TikTok. According to reports, Facebook’s new strategy is if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

The Verge first reported an internal Facebook memo directing employees to change with the times and (though it didn’t mention the competing social network by name) make Facebook more like TikTok. The memo by Tom Alison, the head of Facebook shares a vision of putting discovery posts and recommendations at the top of Facebook’s feed. That means you’ll see more videos from people you don’t know and don’t follow. According to Alison’s memo, suggested videos, reels, and stories will take center stage in a user’s feed.

This is really something because even now you see about 2 friend posts for every 5 ads, group messages, and recommendations. Go ahead and scroll through your Facebook feed and count how the number of posts from friends compared to other things you don’t want to see.

Alison says Facebook will feature content you’re interested in and will make it easy to share and discuss with other people in your network. Social media consultant Mailynne Calvin isn’t shocked by the change, but will the folks using Facebook now, accept the changes?

“If they roll out the changes and like not completely change our news feed all at once. if they slow roll it, it’ll probably be okay,” she said over a Zoom call.

TikTok is growing faster than Facebook and Instagram. In the first three months this year, according to Sensor Tower, iPhone users on average, spent 78% more time on Tiktok than on Facebook. Plus, Facebook users are aging and younger people prefer TikTok and Instagram over Facebook. Calvin tells me, that Facebook becoming more like TikTok, is risky as it could drive its current users away.

“I understand their need to own board a younger user base,” she explained. “Their user base is aging but I wish they would look less to the side of their competition and look more internal at what their strengths are and really double down on those.