Facebook Feed Gets An F

I’m not much on Facebook these days. Logged out in April and haven’t looked back. Might delete it at some point… Now, news of the Facebook feed to become more like TikTok tells me there will be less reason, less interest, for me to Numb-Scroll. If dopamine hits and user engagement are the priority, then it makes sense for Facebook to become like TikTok. But I thought Facebook’s point was to simply connect with people I know.

Sure, people can connect with friends and acquaintances over trendy content from influencers and creators, but that wasn’t the reason people signed up in the first place. People just wanted to see what their personal friends or family were doing, you know, sharing the big and small details of their daily lives with others, from random thoughts to grand events. Times change I guess.

Facebook, the “blue app,” is on the decline, so maybe such a pivot is inevitable. Besides, this isn’t the first time the News Feed was altered. At one point, it leaned towards private stuff from people you friended, then it favored info from publicsources you followed, then it flip-flopped back. Now the Feed going to allow content from neither those you friend nor those you follow. Instead, you’ll get “random” or outside content because the algorithm thinks you’ll like it best, regardless of source.

Do not want.

If I want cool content from wherever, then I would just use TikTok, right? Or maybe YouTube or Instagram. I’d sooner return to Twitter, actually (good thing I deleted it). If people want TikTok-like content, wouldn’t they just use TikTok? I guess Facebook (Meta) believes its network effect will keep its billions of users from leaving, and amplifying viral-like content will make them more engaged. I still think people should disengage from social media altogether though.

Facebook is still a Zuckerberg production, as is Meta and the so-called coming AR/VR Metaverse. On that, there’s also news about Meta’s pervasive pixel tracking web technology. So Zuckerberg’s products are as invasive and perilous to privacy as ever.

Count me out.

So, overall, I really think Facebook’s pivot to mimic TikTok is bad news for the platform and its users. Such a change seems too fundamental a shift away from what made Facebook what it was to begin with. And people don’t need to be more addicted to a feed of viral content anymore than they need to be in the habit of devouring candy all the time. It’s bad for one’s health.

If you want a true “news feed,” then follow the news sites you like via RSS in a feed reader (Feedly.com). Or just bookmark all your favorite news sites and actually visit them (off Facebook). And if you want to keep up with friends and family, then text or email them, or form a chat group on a dedicated messaging app (that isn’t owned by Mark Zuckerberg). Simple. We don’t need Facebook, no matter what it was or what it becomes. And is it really worth wanting anymore? Nah.

Do you think Facebook’s feed acting like TikTok, showing content from sources not followed, is a good or bad idea? Or is there a more nuanced view?