Almost a decade after infuriating some users by separating messaging functions from its flagship social networking programme and forcing individuals to download a second app to speak with friends, Facebook is now experimenting with reversing the move.
A brief about as it competes with TikTok, Facebook is testing the return of in-app messaging features
In an interview with CNN, Facebook CEO Tom Alison stated that the site is testing the return of messaging capabilities to the Facebook app so that users may share material more quickly without needing to use the Messenger app. einsteineruploading up to get together with.
“We feel that content feeds into not just you consuming it, but starting that messaging thread with your friends or being something that you can share into a network of others that share your same interests,” Alison explained. “I think the depth of being able to start a conversation with your friends from this video and having that kind of social component is what will differentiate Facebook and Instagram from TikTok and others.”
The change, disclosed by Alison in a blog post on Tuesday, comes after Facebook overhauled its strategy last year in response to worries about a stagnant and ageing user base. No longer would the platform only be about connecting friends and family. Instead, founder Mark Zuckerberg envisioned Facebook as a “discovery engine.”
Instead of only showing posts from those in a user’s network, Facebook changed its home feed to surface more engaging posts from across the platform, with AI-powered content recommendations. (The latter was satisfied by a new, distinct tab.) The goal was clear: to keep users engaged for longer periods of time and to help the platform compete with TikTok and its constant supply of recommended content.
Alison told CNN that the move has starting to pay off nine months later. The platform said last month that it has 2 billion daily active users in the December quarter.
“A lot of the narrative preceding this has been that Facebook is in decline or that Facebook’s greatest days are behind it,” Alison explained, “and part of what we’re trying to do with this milestone is say, well, look, that’s actually not true.”
From its admission of having a “teen issue” a decade ago to the more recent string of PR disasters for the social network and its parent company, Meta, there has been no shortage of stories about Facebook’s death over the years. TikTok’s meteoric rise, as well as the success of Facebook’s sister service, Instagram, have drained some of the lustre off the elderly social network Zuckerberg founded in a dorm room over two decades ago. But, for the time being, its audience is expanding again.
Alison, who has been in charge of the Facebook app since July 2021, believes the “discovery engine” plan is just the beginning of a wider transformation for the platform as it seeks to chart a course for continuous growth and relevance over the next two decades.
“We’ve been really known for friends and family for over 20 years… but over the next 20 years, what we’re really striving towards is being renowned for social discovery,” he said. “It will be about assisting you in connecting with individuals you know, people you want to know, and people you should know.”
While Facebook and Instagram have struggled to keep up with TikTok, particularly through imitation features like Reels, Alison believes Facebook has an advantage over TikTok due to its history in helping people interact with their networks.
For some creators, Facebook, for example, has become a venue to create fan groups and hold conversations in addition to the stuff they offer on Instagram and TikTok. Alison stated. “I believe it is allowing them to connect with their fans on Facebook in a manner that other platforms do not.”
As Facebook plans its future, it will have to deal with what Zuckerberg has dubbed the company’s “year of efficiency,” an effort to cut costs following a broader reckoning in the tech industry and investor scepticism about its costly plan to centre its business model around the metaverse, a future version of the internet.
“One of the things we’re embracing with the year of efficiency is prioritisation and, frankly, simply putting more work into some of our bigger bets,” Alison explained. Over the last year, the platform has cancelled some smaller initiatives, such as its Bulletin newsletter subscription service, in order to invest in crucial areas such as AI. “A lot of the culture that we’re instituting across Meta is just like, how can we do less things better? And how do we do them more swiftly at times? “Efficiency is more than just cost savings.”