Want to see more or less posts like this? If you have spent some time on Facebook these days, you will have seen, under any content, two options: “Show more” or “Show less”. This is more than just a satisfaction questionnaire. It is one of the ways that the social network founded by Mark Zuckerberg is using to fight its battle against rival TikTok.
In practice, Facebook has integrated a direct feedback system within the platform, a sort of survey for users which aims to interpret their preferences more effectively. “Selecting Show more – they explain from Meta in an official blog post – will temporarily increase the score of that post and similar content. Show less, on the other hand, will do the opposite. Integrating this kind of direct responses into our systems will allow artificial intelligence to be more effective ”.
In other words, the challenge is to try to offer Facebook users content that best suits their tastes and needs. Another of the innovations announced by the social network also goes in this direction, which is introducing a settings section dedicated to the tuning of its feed, the main page of the social network.
Already today, in the Setting and privacy section you can access the options dedicated to the homepage of your Facebook. Here, currently, you can choose to add someone to your Favorites list, so you can see them more often, to pause a profile for a while or not to follow them anymore. In the near future, Meta also promises to include an option to tune your feed even more accurately, choosing which types of posts (from Friends, Pages or Groups) you want to see more.
The innovations have on the one hand the aim of improving the user experience but, on the other hand, the aim of training the algorithm to more effectively recognize the tastes and preferences of those who frequent Facebook. As US social guru Matt Navarra wrote on Twitter: “Facebook needs our help to improve its algorithm to compete with TikTok”.
The new Facebook: more videos, less news
This move is part of a context of evolution for the social network founded by Mark Zuckerberg. An evolution that goes in the wake of TikTok, with a focus on videos, especially short ones, at the expense of other contents. A testament to this strategy is the discontinuation of support for the Instant Articles format in the app starting next year, revealed by an article published on Axios. Instant Articles, launched in 2015, is a format that allows you to read articles published on websites without leaving the platform, embedded directly within the Facebook experience.
“Currently – they said from Meta – less than 3% of what users see in their feed is represented by posts with links to journalistic articles. As we have already said this year, it makes no sense for us to continue investing in areas that do not meet the favor of our users ”.
The future: more and more TikToks?
Changes that tell of a long-term strategy, inaugurated by the official announcement last July of the birth of the new Home feed. A restructuring of the homepage aimed at following the model of the ‘For you’ section of TikTok: at the top Reel and Stories, and inside a series of recommended posts, especially videos and photos, which can also come from users who are not followed.
To try not to upset its users, the social network has also inaugurated a series of alternative content streams. It is accessed through an option, at the bottom, which leads to feeds in chronological order or where you can also see only the posts published by Friends, Groups or Pages.
But the challenge to counter TikTok passes above all from the ability to recommend interesting content. Meta’s goal is to make the Facebook algorithm more and more a discovery system, capable of suggesting new content to users, based on their interests. Replicating, in other words, the magic formula of the For You section of TikTok, able to keep people glued to the screen even for over 90 minutes a day.