Facebook is taking TikTok competition more seriously as it was revealed in a leaked memo that the social media giant plans a major redesign of the Feed to make it feel more like its rival app.
According to the internal memo from late April obtained by The Verge, the Meta executive in charge of Facebook, Tom Alison, laid out plans to turn Facebook’s main Feed into one that recommends posts regardless of where they come from. The said feature mirrors TikTok, as the video app does not focus solely on posts from accounts people follow.
Aside from the major revamp on Facebook Feed, Alison also spoke with CEO Mark Zuckerberg about merging Instagram and Facebook again to mimic TikTok’s messaging functionality, the memo revealed.
The Verge’s Alex Heath spoke with Alison about the memo and Alison said Facebook’s aim is to create a “discovery engine.” Zuckerberg has mentioned the phrase to investors on the social media platform’s latest earnings call.
Alison provided Heath with a more detailed look at how the new Facebook should look like after the redesign. The main tab will feature both Stories and Reels, as well as posts recommended by Facebook’s discovery engine. The recommendations are not limited to Facebook posts, but are also from Instagram. There will be more videos just as TikTok has on its main tab.
Late in April, Zuckerberg revealed details about his talks with investors. “I think about the AI we’re building not just as a recommendation system for short-form video, but as a Discovery Engine that can show you all of the most interesting content that people have shared across our systems,” he said.
The plans to redesign Facebook Feed came months after Zuckerberg blamed ByteDance-owned TikTok and other rivals for its slower-than-expected earnings during the fourth quarter of 2021. On February’s earnings call, Zuckerberg admitted that “apps like TikTok are growing very quickly,” Nikkei reported.
Besides the TikTok’s popularity, Facebook also has another problem to overcome as its current recommendation algorithms have been blamed for the promotion of misinformation on the platform, Engadget reported.
In the April memo, Alison wrote that the company wants to reduce “negative experiences” for users. He said the goal is to promote trustworthiness, a people-centric environment, and unity “across all of our products as a permanent part of our culture as opposed to a short-term priority.”