All Blogs,Digital Marketing,News,What's Trending, - July 25, 2022
Meta Updates Facebook Feed To Be More Like TikTok
Social Media News: Is Facebook Trying to Copy TikTok’s Feed?
If you’ve been paying attention to recent social media news, you have likely heard that Meta is updating Facebook to be more like TikTok.
The heart of the app update will be focused on your Facebook feed. This is typically where users find content from friends and family… Well, this week we’re seeing a change to that as Meta is now able to utilize its new “Discovery Engine” to show you more recommended content, with a strong tilt for all video formatted content, above audio and text.
With a new discovery algorithm powering all of this, the Facebook User Interface, which is basically what you see on your app screen, will now be split into a “Home” feed and a “Feeds” tab. The Home Feed will present you with content that is designed to keep you entertained, similar to your typical TikTok experience. Meanwhile, the Feeds tab is where you’ll find the latest posts from Friends, Groups, and your you basic social media favorites.
This is a Move from Social Network to Online Content Sharing Platform
There is no doubt that this is a big change for Facebook. It is a move away from its roots as a social network among friends and family, and towards a TikTok style “entertainment app” that highlights content creators and online commerce.
Think of the TikTok “For You” feed. This is a feed that shares seemingly endless short form videos from strangers and friends alike. Of TikTok’s 1 billion users, more than 55% of them are creating highly shareable short form videos that are not restricted to an audience of first, second, and third-degree connections.
What is Behind this Change to the Facebook Feed?
If you ask 10 people, you may get three to five different answers. Here is what the Zuck himself has to say about it:
“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.”
Does the Zuck stop here?
We don’t think so… We think Meta is anxious that TikTok is now surpassing 1 Billion active users. We know Meta is taking note of the fact that Bytedance’s cash cow, TikTok, is poised to grow from $4 to $12 Billion in 2022.
If you look back to October 2012, back when Facebook hit its first 1 Billion users, that level of active users turned out to be a nuclear reactor of new revenue growth, teeing them up to acquire Instagram (for cheap, just $1 Billion), WhatsApp, and 2 Billion more users.
So here we are…. TikTok is at its first billion users and it is dominating the attention of Gen Z. Consider this: the average TikTok user spends 29 hours per month scrolling through the app. This compares to 16 hours for Facebook users and just 8 hours per month for Instagram users.
That difference in time spent on the app is huge… Meta is feeling left out because no doubt, they are not the cool kid in school anymore.
Is Facebook About to Alienate the Legacy App’s Loyal Users?
This move to appeal to a younger demographic could totally blow up in Meta’s face.
Your typical Facebook app user presents much different demographic data than your daily TikTok user. Meta’s Facebook has mostly Millennials on up to Baby Boomers, and really doesn’t have many Gen Z gamer kids on the platform.
Meta has to ask itself: “Can we have it all and if we cannot, is it worth alienating a loyal legacy user to try and attract the favor of a younger demographic?”
At best, the younger demographic is spending time reposting TikTok videos to Instagram Reels….
Why, you might ask? Well, social media users tend to prefer the video editing tools that TikTok offers in its app so most often a video will be created and posted to TikTok before eventually being shared on Instagram Reels.
But I digress. Baby boomers and older millennials are likely engaging in none of this content duplication and posting behavior. They’re on Facebook to share updates with the family across the country or keeping up with old friends from school. If they’re keeping their content consumption closer to home, it’s likely that they’re hanging strong in Facebook Groups.
Are Companies Changing Their Social Media Behavior?
Yes and no. In some ways, a good social media marketer is always changing things up. Similarly, the social media engagement algorithms are constantly in flux to cater to a combination of a better user experience and specific business goals. Yes, business goals. These social media companies are NOT non-profit organizations. In some ways, they may even be a little bit evil, emphasizing that small businesses and individuals are largely at the mercy of the big tech.
News organizations, for sure, will have to change how their content is disseminated online.
More than 70% of US adults are accustomed to consuming news content in a digital, in-app social media format and Facebook has been a leading supplier of this type of information. This Facebook-TikTok update will highlight user generated content (think of the TikTok challenges and trendy dance moves) and move away from syndicating real and “fake” news. Given the heat that Zuckerberg and Co. have been facing from US lawmakers and states attorneys general, this may help mitigate the companies annual legal expenses.
As always, in times of change, opportunity presents along with challenge. There will be some companies that find new ways to engage their customers among the 3 billion Meta users worldwide.
How Should I Respond to this Facebook/TikTok Social Media Update?
If you’re a social media user, pay close attention to the type of content of you see in the Facebook Home tab, and take note of how it differs from the stuff that is presented to you in that Feeds tab. If this change happens to be a win for Meta, and Facebook starts to measure more app activity between Facebook, Instagram, and Insta Reels in particular, then expect this to stick around. Remember, Facebook is a for-profit business and it really only cares about promoting user growth and selling advertisements to businesses. Meta cares about Meta.
If your business happens to be a news and information publisher that relies on Facebook to syndicate content, you should contact a social media marketing agency today. This will be a difficult time for your company.
If you run a product or service company that gets new product sales, phone calls, appointments, and form submissions from social media marketing, then this could be an interesting new world for you.
In fact, it could be a lot of fun if you’re able to invest in shareable, video content that is designed explicitly for social sharing. Brands have been using TikTok to go viral and put themselves front and center in front of gamer kids, Gen Z’s, and younger Millennials.
Now, that same style of content can be used to get your brand in front of a more mature social media user. Depending on what you sell and who your customer is, this may or may not work, which is why always recommend that you consult with a digital marketer first. With that said, every new internet marketing campaign is a test and should be conducted using the scientific method.
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