Facebook really wants to become TikTok
Meta has begun adding TikTok-coined features such as remixing reels, AI-recommended content, and more to Facebook. Here’s what we should expect…
by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0.
“If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” is an old adage that comes to mind when it comes to the strategic plans for Facebook. It seems that Facebook (or Meta, as the parent company is now called) has seen that upstart TikTok is beating the pants off it, especially in the highly desirable younger demographics, and wants the madness to stop. Although the strategy hasn’t been implemented yet, a leaked internal memo that the Verge received outlines what to expect for the social media giant.
According to the memo, “The Home experience will balance both connected content and unconnected content. We’re working to clean up top-of-feed and make it just as easy to see Stories from friends as it is to discover new content in Reels. We’re also exploring a Community Panel to give direct access to the communities you care about most. Finally, we’re testing a product to give you predictable access to your connected Feed, with the ability to sort in chronological order and filter by Groups, Pages, and Friends. Internally we call this “Mr. T” and I’m excited about the progress the team is making.”
What To Expect
The story goes on to explain that the main tab of the user page will soon show a mix of Stories and Reels, followed by posts that its discovery engine recommends. Facebook will also place the user’s Messenger inbox right at the top to make it more obvious.
What’s more, Meta is adding new ways for users to remix content into Reels on Instagram, while it’s also added the capacity to create Reels from your existing videos within Creator Studio.
What this shows is that Meta has seen that short videos and a better AI-driven user feed is what’s worked for TikTok, and is what it needs to up its game against the Chinese giant.
That sounds all well and good, but the secret sauce of TikTok is its AI, which quickly figures out pretty much what you like and don’t like and gives you just that. “Doesn’t Facebook do that too?”, you might ask. Yes, but most users will attest to it not working as efficiently as one would like. There’s no mention in the memo about AI improvements, so that’s still a bit of the unknown.
All that said, Meta recognizes that if it doesn’t get on the ball soon, both Facebook and Instagram will be left in TikTok’s dust.
Bobby Owsinski is a producer/engineer, author and coach. He has authored 24 books on recording, music, the music business and social media.