After spending the last 4 years attempting to improve the News Feed by creating it more around friends and family, Facebook is going in the opposite direction: it will show you more entertaining content from people you don't know. This new "Discovery Engine" push is about making Facebook more like TikTok, which has caught the attention of the young people Facebook wants to win back so badly.
The result is an "updated vision of how the Facebook app will respond to the next generation of people who will use it," says Tom Alison, who is in charge of the Facebook app at Meta. This is his first in-depth podcast interview since he took the job in July 2021.
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What The Discovery Engine Is All About
Nick Clegg, Meta's top policy executive, talks about what it means for the company to have more control over what billions of users see daily in their Facebook and Instagram feeds.
"Strangely, we're going to do what we've been accused of doing for a long time in the future," said Clegg. "If you listen to [former Facebook employee and whistleblower] Frances Haugen's story, it's, 'Oh my gosh, they're just spoon-feeding hate speech to people,'" says Haugen. Of course, it was a waste of time... Because most of what users see on Facebook is determined by our systems and their preferences, such as the friends they have, the groups they join, the material they engage with, etc.
However, with the Discovery Engine strategy, that will no longer be the case. Meta will use AI to give Facebook and Instagram users more content from people they don't know. This will make them more like TikTok.
Featured image: Facebook
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