Facebook Taking Cues from TikTok? Yes!

It’s been said that imitation is the highest form of flattery. With that in mind, Facebook is paying TikTok a lot of flattery, according to some very revealing news…

Facebook apparently has plans to change its algorithm so that it will be similar to that of TikTok. Considering how Facebook has been in operation for 18 years, this news may be the ultimate proof of what a game changer the “younger” video-based platform named TikTok truly is. (For those keeping a chronological score, TikTok was launched in 2016.)

Facebook’s planned changes modeled on TikTok

As reported by Alex Heath in The Verge, which discovered this development through a leaked memo from a couple of months ago, Tom Allison—who is Meta’s executive in charge of operations for Facebook—issued instructions to employees that would change two existing features in ways that would resemble (if not replicate) the functionality of those on TikTok:

  1. The main feed—which places posts in the importance of accounts that users follow—will likely be completely overhauled and emphasize recommended short form videos.

  2. Facebook and its complementary Messenger app—once deliberately broken up—will be combined (or reunited) into one entity, as it is on TikTok.

In short, users of Facebook should not be surprised by new and dramatic changes that will appear on this platform’s interface.

The influence of Instagram Reels

Another factor that may underline Facebook’s wish to maintain relevancy through an emphasis on video posts is the recent set of upgrades to another Meta platform, Instagram; specifically, Instagram Reels. With improvements that range from introducing a sophisticated audio feature named ‘Sound Sync’ to expanded running times, coupled with a following of 675.3, the success of Instagram Reels is also motivation for Facebook to go full force in video presentations and posts.

According to Tom Allison

Mr. Heath pointed further reasons made by Tom Allison as to why Facebook is taking cues from TikTok. Admittedly, the powers that be at Meta did not fully see or realize the competition that this newer, “upstart” platform would bring to the social media landscape. Today, Mr. Allison considers TikTok as “encroaching” on social media, of which Facebook was undeniably a pioneer.

A “generational thing”?

Aside from the incredible impact that TikTok has had on social media, this development is an example of the importance of staying aligned with what users (read: customers and consumers) want. Younger and newer users—by nature—will respond and be attracted to different methods of engagement than earlier social media audiences. These younger audiences like video. They like TikTok, which, as Mr. Heath notes, has been downloaded 3.6 billion times.

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