Facebook is set for a major overhaul and the way users consume content is getting a big redesign.
Now, whenever there’s a big change you can guarantee some people will be up in arms about it – but this move may actually be a step in the right direction.
A new Feed and Home tab
For people who still use the platform, and let’s be honest, if you do, you belong to a certain generation, things have stayed the same way for a long time.
Pretty soon you can expect a Feeds tab that shows posts from your friends, groups you’ve joined and pages you’ve liked in good old-fashioned chronological order. You will also be able to see a Home tab, which is where you can discover new content. More on that later.
There will be no ‘suggested for you’ content in Feed, but there will still be adverts – which could manifest in a variety of different ways.
A crowd pleaser
As Mark Zuckerberg explained in a Facebook post, Feeds has been introduced to please the masses.
“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.”
As the TikTok-ification of every social media platform gathers pace, this split screen of Feeds and Home appears to be a way Facebook can balance an algorithm-based discovery experience that keeps users on the site for longer with the desire to give Facebook users what they actually want – to see content from people, pages and groups they follow.
People will see the Feeds tab in the Facebook shortcut bar and updates will be rolled out across the globe shortly.
What is the new Home tab?
As Facebook’s post gleefully puts it, the Home tab is “where discovery happens”. Whether you want to discover new things doesn’t matter to them.
“(Home) is where you will discover new content through recommendations in addition to connecting with your friends and family. From Home, you can also create a Reel, see what your connections are sharing on Feed and in Stories, and build community over new and shared interests.”
Essentially, Facebook will use an AI to deliver you content it thinks you’ll like, in the same manner that TikTok’s powerful robots do. The system will look at thousands of signals to “rank content in the order we think you’ll find more valuable”.
The great hope is that users end up glued to Facebook after discovering an endless supply of brilliant content (probably Reels) and “find community through your passions and interests”.
Feeds and Home – joined at the hip
However, Home will not just be a place where the algorithm rules supreme. It will also show posts from friends and family, just mixed in with recommendations for you. The Feeds tab will also feature some ads, so there will be some blurring of the lines between the two.
It’s probably a good move by Facebook to include content from friends in the Home tab. For one, some users may not be aware of the change and won’t notice much of a difference when they’re in the Home tab. Second, some may just stick to Home because swapping between tabs is too much of a hassle and they’ll basically get the same experience anyway.
Powered by a discovery engine
As mentioned, Home will become more of a discovery engine. The quote below breaks down what this is.
“Social media products – including our own – are delivering value by investing more in discovery engines that help people find and enjoy interesting content regardless of whether it was produced by someone you’re connected to or not. We see this both in research as well as in the growth of products like Reels, Watch, and In-Feed Recommendations.”
Essentially, this is a big push to get people hooked on Reels and it’s pretty clear that the content recommended to you will be videos. That means users will see a lot more content from accounts and people they don’t follow, and the more they watch, the more they’ll feed the discovery engine which will keep recommending similar stuff.
It’s an interesting move to take Facebook in this direction, but the growth of TikTok and the moves Meta has made to combat (and copy) it means it’s not a surprising one.