Facebook plans to turn its main feed into a “discovery engine” for video content, according to an internal memo sent to employees.
The Verge obtained the memo and published it in full. Although the memo was first revealed today, it was first sent on April 27.
This means that Facebook has already been a month and a half into implementing its ‘near-term’ plans. We may end up seeing these changes roll out sooner rather than later.
Here are the most important points to know from the memo written by Tom Allison, Head of Facebook.
Enhance discoverability of content
Facebook’s buzzword to describe its vision is the “discovery engine.”
Allison says this is what he wants to turn Facebook into — a place where people can go and get recommendations for content they’re likely to enjoy.
He lists three near-term priorities that will help Facebook achieve its vision:
- Make the reels a success.
- Build world-class technology recommendations.
- Open the message-based sharing.
Turning Facebook into a “discovery engine” simply means recommending more content from accounts that users aren’t connected to.
Historically, Facebook has prioritized content posted or shared by contacts such as friends and family.
Offline content has not been the focus of the Facebook feed. Turning the feed into a stream of endless discoveries means it will have to pull content from all over the Facebook network.
How does this satisfy Facebook’s top three priorities?
Make the reels a success
While Facebook plans to boost the discoverability of all content, it identifies its largest gap as short-form video.
To fill this gap, Facebook is making Reels more discoverable by integrating short videos into more sections throughout the website.
Building world-class recommendation technology
To achieve its goal of becoming a discovery engine, Facebook plans to develop a recommendation system that responds to people’s interests, is able to identify popular content, and is able to make responsible decisions.
Open the messaging-based share
People are increasingly sharing and discovering content privately through the messenger, rather than publicly in the main feed.
Facebook plans to focus on this by enabling more ways to share content through its messaging apps.
What will your Facebook feed look like?
Alex Heath of The Verge spoke directly with Alison, author of the Facebook note, to get more information on what’s changing.
Based on Heath’s conversation with the head of Facebook, this is how he describes what the main feed will look like.
Here’s how the future Facebook app will work in practice: The main tab will become a mix of Stories and Reels at the top, followed by posts recommended by the discovery engine across both Facebook and Instagram. It will be a visual, video-heavy experience with clearer prompts to direct a post to friends. To make messaging More prominently, Facebook is putting the user’s Messenger inbox in the top right of the app, reversing the infamous decision to separate the two apps eight years ago.”
When will these changes be rolled out?
It’s not known when the move to Facebook as a discovery engine will happen, though Allison seems eager to implement his vision.
The best way to prepare for this change, if Facebook is a priority for you and your business, is to get comfortable creating and posting more short videos.
While Facebook will continue to show text posts and images, they will be secondary to the main attractions of Reels and Stories.
Source: the edge
Featured image: rafapress/Shutterstock