Facebook Is Going to Look a Lot More Like TikTok
What about TikTok makes the app so addicting? Meta employees asked themselves this same question a few months ago, recognizing the widening gap between usage on their app and on TikTok. Data.ai reports that on average, users spend 29 hours a month on TikTok, compared to Facebook’s meager 16. In addition, TikTok manages to capture the attention of a younger age demographic, Gen-Z, with roughly 25% of their users being within 10-19 years old. Meanwhile, Facebook’s users primarily fall within the 25 to 34 range, the “millennials” of the generation prior.
What is Facebook’s solution?
In late July, parent company to Facebook Meta Platforms Inc. announced sweeping changes to the app. Facebook’s former algorithm distributed content to a user’s feed from their friend network. This friend network consisted of the people and pages a user actively follows and wants to stay in touch with. Now, the improved app will recommend new content to the user from strangers and influencers with similar interests and browsing history, a radical departure from the friends and family focus that used to define Facebook.
News and media outlets quickly identified Meta’s new strategy as an attempt to keep up and take on TikTok. Meta is hopeful that these updated algorithms will attract a younger user base for longer time spans. The changes will occur slowly, and likely be adapted as the company measures the results of each update. Users could see these changes begin in late July with the addition of the Home tab. This a mixed feed featuring friends and family content alongside that of influencers and similar-minded but non-friend users.
What does this mean for content creators?
Facebook does not appear posed to replace TikTok as the king of short-form content. However, creators should pay close attention to Meta’s social media platforms and the changes they roll out over the coming months and years. It is essential creators maintain a strong presence on both Facebook and Instagram. Despite their recent waning popularity, they are still two of the most popular social media apps in existence today.