Facebook’s obsession with dominating social media platforms may lead to more harmful content being posted to users.
And a new detailed report proves that the company is on its way to becoming more like TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance.
According to a leaked memo, Facebook’s new discovery engine algorithmically shares far more content with users outside of the accounts and pages they follow.
This is a change in the platform’s attempts to focus on content shared by friends and family. And Facebook said in the leaked memo: “Social media platforms are changing, and they need engines that help people find and enjoy interesting content regardless of whether it was produced by someone they are connected to or not.
The need to remain relevant
The company document states that they want to focus on connecting people. The new feature helps people connect through shared interests or identity.
The main app includes Stories and Reels at the top of the page. While it shows you the detected content formatted below it.
Groups are renamed into communities. While the page focuses more on short video content that motivates younger users to use the platform.
These proposed changes reinvent the platform’s feed systems that were initially changed in 2018. They also mean that the Messenger platform will be re-integrated with Facebook to appear in the upper right part of the app.
This happens to confirm message-based sharing of content that appears in the new feed. It comes after the two apps were originally separated in 2014 in order to make sending messages faster, as Mark Zuckerberg claimed later in the same year.
Reels, which has been integrated across Meta-owned platforms Facebook and Instagram, to deliver more short videos in people’s feeds, is a big part of the move.
The platform has been handing out money to content creators it hopes will be able to keep people off their TikTok feeds. But the company realizes that its current format cannot be as addictive as its main social competitor.
And in the memo’s FAQ, one of its previous priorities of reducing negative experiences has been replaced by things like making Reels successful.
What does this revamping of the Facebook algorithm mean?
Mark Zuckerberg announced changes in 2018 as he wanted the platform back to friends and family members sharing holiday photos. But that appears to have largely failed.
It is rare for those at the top of Facebook’s management chain to speak to the press. But Tom Allison, the head of Facebook, explained that stories have overshadowed those attempts to approximate parts of Facebook as the main ways that people interact in any positive way.
“We try to provide you with the best content that meets your interests and make it easy to share, discuss and connect with other people in your network,” he said.
The leaked Facebook papers showed how the company’s systems categorized content in users’ news feeds in order to increase the amount of time users spend on the platform, regardless of employees’ concerns that it harms relationships or helps spread misinformation.
The company stopped recommending political groups to users based on preferences. The goal is to have a cleaner, easier-to-use experience, Allison said.
But Facebook’s renewed focus on AI-based algorithms for people’s feeds feels like a step backwards when its main inspiration has trouble filtering out harmful content.
And Facebook was looking forward to Tik Tok more and more as the platform emerged. Tik Tok saw a rise in revenue in conjunction with becoming one of the most popular platforms in the world.