Follow the story of the development of Facebook’s News Feed in the fifth episode of Land of the Giants: The Facebook / Meta Disruption

Follow the story of the development of Facebook’s News Feed in the fifth episode of Land of the Giants: The Facebook / Meta Disruption

Facebook used to be, believe it or not, cool.

But a lot has changed since the early days of News Feed, when it was full of status updates and photos of friends. Facebook has become crowded with brands and pages vying for eyeballs. It has become a place where people, especially teenagers and young adults, don’t feel comfortable sharing their lives.

Now, after spending the past four years trying to fix News Feed by making it more about friends and family, Facebook is going in a different direction: toward showing you more entertaining content from people you don’t know. This new “Discovery Engine” push is more and more like TikTok, which captured the attention of the young generation Facebook is so desperate to get back.

The result is “an updated vision of how the Facebook app will respond to the next generation of people who will use it,” says Tom Alison, head of Facebook apps at Meta, in what marks his first in-depth podcast interview since taking on the role at July 2021

We examine the past, present and future of the Facebook Feed for our fifth episode of the new season Land of the Giants, Vox Media Podcast Network’s award-winning narrative podcast series about the most influential technology companies of our time. This season, Recode and The Verge teamed up over seven episodes to tell the story of Facebook’s journey to becoming Meta, including interviews with current and former executives.

The episode also features commentary from Nick Clegg, the Met’s Chief Policy Officer, on the implications of the company taking more control over what billions of users see each day on their Facebook and Instagram feeds.

“In a strange way in the future we’re going to be doing what we’ve been doing for a long time,” Clegg said. “If you’re listening [former Facebook employee and whistleblower] Frances Haugen is kind of a narrative… oh my god, they’re just feeding people hate speech. … Of course that was stupid … because the vast majority of content that people saw on Facebook was driven, of course, by our systems, but also by their own choices, who their friends are, what groups they’re in, what content they interact with, and so on .”

But that changes with the new Discovery Engine strategy. To make Facebook and Instagram more like TikTok, Meta will use AI to provide users with more content than strangers. What will this incentive mean for the future of Facebook and how do we use it?

Listen to the fifth episode Land of Giants: Facebook / Meta Disruptionand watch the first four episodes Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotifyor wherever you get your podcasts.

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