ICYMI, last week Meta made major moves. In an effort to compete with TikTok, Facebook has restyled its mobile app, which now opens to a Home tab showcasing Reels videos (desktop app changes will come soon). It may seem like nothing, but I (and plenty of others) are marking the shift as a death knell for social networking as we know it—the sort of friends-and-family engagement the platform has been known for since its launch in 2004.
The priority moving forward is entertainment (bring on the cat videos and dancing), with new algorithms making it so. That means you'll be served videos from "unconnected sources,"—i.e., total strangers who're posting content you may like based on what the algorithm can discern from your tastes and behavior.
And all those updates from aging relatives and old college buddies are now on a separate “Feeds” tab, which could be mothballed altogether in the not-so-distant future.
Facebook lost users for the first time ever at the end of last year, so these moves feel desperate and reactive—and in effect, they snub the platform's older, die-hard devotees. I'll be watching this one closely to see what happens next, and what the implications are for marketers still using the platform to connect with communities.