Facebook and Instagram may look a lot more like TikTok after new updates and features are released this week.
Facebook and Instagram’s Makeover
Facebook revealed that a new ‘Discovery Engine’ would play a huge role in the future of the Facebook app.
Facebook’s new update takes shape in a new ‘Suggested to You’ frame resembling TikTok’s ‘For You’ video function. The platform is splitting up it’s main “Home” section into two tabs to show users more entertaining and recommended content. (aka the Discovery Engine)
Facebook also announced they would add a new Feeds tab to view friends’ posts in chronological order, including ads.
On July 21, 2022, Instagram released an official announcement of the big changes. They informed users that newly uploaded videos less than 15 minutes long would be shared as reels to help create a more immersive and entertaining way to watch a video.
Many are accusing Meta, Facebook, and Instagram’s parent company, that the new updates make them a copycat because it will look and feel a lot like TikTok.
The “Reel” Story
The biggest reason why TikTok is such a social media sensation is because of its video reels. Video reels are short videos that continue to play one after another without the user having to touch a button. Tiktok hasn’t released information on how they continue to attract and keep users for hours and hours on their app, but we’re sure a lot of companies would like to know to duplicate it to achieve the same type of success.
Facebook introduced reels to 150 countries in February 2022.
Instagram launched reels in the US in 2020, which at the time was compared to TikTok’s short video format. This helped keep Instagram relevant and somewhat competitive with TikTok.
In 2018 YouTube announced their version of reels, which was created to compete with Snapchat’s ‘stories’ mode called Reels.
For years Facebook and Instagram has been accused of copying popular features of rival platforms instead of innovation thier own.
According to Insider, for the first time, the number of users on Facebook shrunk making the move to imitate the “best” video reel app a priority to maintain company growth.
TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, is a popular and successful short-video sharing app.
TikTok is accused of allowing user data to be transmitted to China, and concerns have risen around their addicting content algorithm. According to The Times, the biggest concern about TikTok is the “opaque algorithm that determines the content fed to users, and which the CCP has designated a state secret. The algorithm is tightly controlled by secretive China-based teams, which have been experimenting with advanced technology including facial and voice recognition, and sentiment analysis.”
In 2020 the Pentagon deemed the app a “cyber threat” and was not allowed on government-issued devices. It was also not allowed in several branches of the US military. However, according to Bloomberg, some military personnel are still using the app, which can put the US in a very vulnerable position, especially since TikTok has geolocation data and could be used to track troops.
TikTok is being sued by two sets of parents accusing the social media giant of wrongful death after their young girls hung themselves when taking part in an asphyxiation social media challenge.
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