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Sensational conversion: Facebook becomes like TikTok

This mechanism was ignored by Meta as a focus on their friends and family, but it also ensured that users often saw very similar content supporting the opinion – a dangerous distortion effect.

However, the radical restructuring now planned should have less to do with the fact that Facebook wanted to counter this bubble effect. Instead, it is a clear imitation of the successful model of competitor TikTok.

The Chinese service only shows short to very short video clips. The content comes from all over the world – users don’t have to befriend other TikTok users or give their videos a heart: the algorithm first displays popular videos fairly randomly and then automatically learns from user behavior: if a video is watched at the end or clicked. If the user also views additional videos in the associated profile, TikTok will show more videos of this type in the future.

TikTok is currently much more successful than Facebook

If you scroll through a video further without watching it for longer, TikTok shows fewer videos of this type. Users are repeatedly shown completely new videos that are apparently liked by many other users. Through a simple system of comments and messages, users also exchange messages on the videos or recommend them to others.

With this model, TikTok is hugely successful, much more successful than Facebook. According to analytics firm Sensor Tower, the TikTok app has already been downloaded 3.6 billion times. “The Verge” cites estimates that the app was installed around 20% more than Facebook or Instagram in 2021.

Although the number of monthly active users is estimated at 1.2 billion people, it is still well below the number of Facebook users (2.94 billion) – but while Facebook has recently shrunk for the first time, TikTok is still growing rapidly.

So far, Facebook has apparently found no means to fight the Chinese competitor – it should now direct the imitation of TikTok’s successful model.

According to the “The Verge” article, Facebook will therefore be like this in the future: the main tab will show a mix of stories and reels at the top, followed by Facebook and Instagram posts recommended by the “Discovery Engine”. The messenger’s inbox should be integrated directly into Facebook at the top right, which effectively nullifies the separation of the two applications.

The consequences of this upheaval are difficult to predict. The often criticized trends on Facebook to further fuel hatred and disinformation through the selection of displayed content could, in the worst case, be greatly strengthened by a new system even more based on automatic recommendations.

It is also unclear whether Facebook’s calculations will work and whether the network will actually become more attractive to young users again. What is certain, however, is that Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is under increasing pressure.

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