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This is Facebook’s plan to be cool once more


Facebook was as soon as, consider it or not, cool.

But lots has modified because the early days of the News Feed, when it was filled with standing updates and pictures from associates. Facebook has gotten crowded with manufacturers and pages vying for eyeballs. It has develop into a spot the place folks, particularly youngsters and younger adults, don’t really feel as comfy sharing their lives.

Now, after spending the previous 4 years making an attempt to repair the News Feed by making it extra about family and friends, Facebook goes within the different route: towards displaying you extra entertaining content material from folks you don’t know. This new “Discovery Engine” push is all about turning into extra like TikTook, which has captured the eye of the younger technology Facebook so desperately desires to win again.

The result’s an “up to date imaginative and prescient for the way the Facebook app goes to answer the subsequent technology of people who find themselves going to make use of it,” says Tom Alison, the top of the Facebook app at Meta, in what marks his first in-depth podcast interview since he assumed the function in July 2021.

We study the previous, current, and way forward for Facebook’s Feed for our fifth episode of the brand new season of Land of the Giants, Vox Media Podcast Network’s award-winning narrative podcast collection about essentially the most influential tech firms of our time. This season, Recode and The Verge have teamed up over the course of seven episodes to inform the story of Facebook’s journey to turning into Meta, that includes interviews with present and former executives.

This episode additionally options commentary from Nick Clegg, Meta’s high coverage govt, in regards to the implications of the corporate taking extra management over what billions of customers see day-after-day of their Facebook and Instagram feeds.

“In an odd form of approach sooner or later, we’re going to be doing what now we have been alleged to do for a very long time,” mentioned Clegg. “If you hearken to the [former Facebook employee and whistleblower] Frances Haugen form of narrative … it’s oh my gosh, they’re simply spoon-feeding folks hate speech. … Of course it was nonsense … as a result of the overwhelming majority of content material that folks noticed on Facebook was pushed, after all, by our techniques, but in addition by their very own selections, who their associates are, which teams they’re a part of, what content material they interact with, and so forth.”

But that’s altering with the brand new Discovery Engine technique. To make Facebook and Instagram extra like TikTook, Meta will use AI to serve customers extra content material from strangers. What will this push imply for the way forward for Facebook and the way we use it?

Listen to the fifth episode of Land of the Giants: The Facebook / Meta Disruption, and catch the primary 4 episodes on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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