Facebook's mighty News Feed is splitting in two... sort of.
The popular social networking site announced today that users of the company's mobile apps will soon see 2 feeds. Home is the new name for the tab you see when you first open the app and is designed for personalized content sourced from Reels, Stories and other sources. Then we see a completely new tab called Feeds, which contains recent posts from Friends, Groups, Facebook Pages and Favorites, minus the "Featured Posts for You".
The two tabs will be accessible from both the iOS and Android versions of the Facebook app, where they will start appearing in the shortcut bar from today. Meta's press release states that the contents of this bar are designed to change based on the tabs that users spend the most time on, but these can be "pinned" to ensure that their locations don't change. Facebook says the changes will be visible globally by next week.
"One of the features that users are asking for most from Facebook is to make sure they don't miss their friends' posts," Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his personal profile. "So today we're launching a Feeds tab where you can see your friends' posts, groups, Pages you follow and other sources individually, in chronological order. Users will still see on first opening the app a personalized content stream in the Home tab, where Facebook will suggest content we think you'll be most interested in. But the Feeds tab will give you a way to further customize and control your experience."
The separation of the Newsfeed in this way seems to be an attempt to "balance" Meta's desire to make Facebook more like TikTok - which suggests content from across its platform based on what its algorithms think you might be interested in. But declaring Home Feed as the default for each user may reveal where Meta's priorities lie for Facebook, with the company saying that the feed is going to be more of a "content discovery engine" in the future.
It's important to note that the Home tab will still show posts from friends and family, but will be surrounded by content suggestions selected by a machine learning ranking system. Also, ads will still be present in the Feeds tab. Meta's attempt to more or less directly clone TikTok by introducing the Lasso app has become a thing of the past after just 18 months, and the company's focus has subsequently shifted to Instagram's Reels to capitalize on the popularity of the short-form video format.
But the danger of TikTok's immense popularity has not diminished. Facebook, the company's core social media platform, saw a decline in the last quarter of 2021 in active daily users logging on to the platform, and although the platform returned to growth in the first quarter of this year, it is now growing slower than ever. The reason is TikTok where users spend most of their time in their daily social media interaction.