That is Fb’s plan to be cool once more

A person wearing a Facebook shirt.
A Fb worker in 2009 sporting an organization T-shirt at Fb headquarters in Palo Alto. | Gilles Mingasson/Getty Photos

For the fifth episode of its newest season, Land of the Giants examines the previous, current, and way forward for the Fb Information Feed.

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

However so much has modified for the reason that early days of the Information Feed, when it was filled with standing updates and photographs from buddies. Fb has gotten crowded with manufacturers and pages vying for eyeballs. It has grow to be a spot the place individuals, particularly youngsters and younger adults, don’t really feel as snug sharing their lives.

Now, after spending the previous 4 years attempting to repair the Information Feed by making it extra about family and friends, Fb goes within the different course: towards displaying you extra entertaining content material from individuals you don’t know. This new “Discovery Engine” push is all about turning into extra like TikTok, which has captured the eye of the younger technology Fb so desperately needs to win again.

The result’s an “up to date imaginative and prescient for a way the Fb 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 Fb app at Meta, in what marks his first in-depth podcast interview since he assumed the position in July 2021.

We look at the previous, current, and way forward for Fb’s Feed for our fifth episode of the brand new season of Land of the Giants, Vox Media Podcast Community’s award-winning narrative podcast sequence about probably 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 Fb’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 Fb and Instagram feeds.

“In an odd type of approach sooner or later, we’re going to be doing what we’ve got been alleged to do for a very long time,” mentioned Clegg. “In case you hearken to the [former Facebook employee and whistleblower] Frances Haugen type of narrative … it’s oh my gosh, they’re simply spoon-feeding individuals hate speech. … In fact it was nonsense … as a result of the overwhelming majority of content material that individuals noticed on Fb was pushed, after all, by our techniques, but additionally by their very own decisions, who their buddies are, which teams they’re a part of, what content material they have interaction with, and so forth.”

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

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

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