Meta tweaks the Facebook app to work more like TikTok.

For most of Facebook’s history, its leaders have executed a tried-and-true playbook: Copy the success of others.

On Thursday, the company, which has been renamed Meta, continued that tactic with a revamp of its main Facebook app that will change how users browse the service and make it work a little more like one of its biggest competitors.

Facebook users will soon open the app to a new Home tab that will feature a feed of photos, looping videos and status updates from a mix of friends and family. The Home tab will also display a series of posts from people and pages not connected to a user̵[ads1]7;s network, labeled “Suggested for You.”

That category will be driven by what Facebook’s algorithms think someone might like to see, based on thousands of individual information signals and the user’s browsing history on Facebook. The so-called discovery engine behind these algorithms is powered by Facebook’s artificial intelligence technology.

In short, the Facebook app will work more like TikTok, the Chinese-owned social media app. While Facebook has historically connected people to content produced by their friends, the video-based TikTok relies on algorithmic signals and viral content to show viewers highly engaging posts, without having to rely on anyone’s network of friends or connections.

The change is part of a push by Meta to increase the use of social apps, which also includes Instagram. In recent months, Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, has promoted video products across Instagram and Facebook, and the company has added more suggested content to keep users engaged and returning to the apps regularly. On Instagram, the formula seems to be working, Zuckerberg has said.

The Home tab follows a popular trend in social media known as “discovery,” which essentially relies on algorithms and machine learning to better understand what types of content a user might like and display it without the person working hard to find it. Facebook is investing heavily in that area, as are companies such as Snap and Twitter.

TikTok’s emphasis on discovery and display of engaging content has been a social media phenomenon. TikTok was founded less than a decade ago and has added hundreds of millions of users over the past few years. Young people spend more than 90 minutes a day watching TikTok, according to some estimates, besting even YouTube in time spent on the app.

That has put pressure on Meta’s family of apps. Executives have become concerned about the proportion of younger users migrating to TikTok and other up-and-coming social media apps. To combat the wear and tear, Facebook and Instagram executives have made product changes that follow their competitors’ moves. In 2020, Instagram introduced Reels, a short-form, looping video product almost identical to that produced by TikTok.

Meta has made major changes to how their products work in the past, occasionally ticking off their user base. But the new changes happen more subtly and over time. The Home tab will continue to be filled with posts from friends and groups and will slowly introduce external content while adding more videos and Reels posts from influencers. While this approach has been successful for TikTok, it’s unclear whether Facebook’s users will embrace the changes — or if they’ll even notice.

In the Facebook app’s update, users should expect to see more short-format video and reels in the Home tab as the company refines its algorithms and improves the discovery experience. Home content may also include images or articles from pages and groups that a user does not already follow.

Users can still choose to only see content from friends, family, or specific pages — without seeing unrelated, suggested posts — by navigating to the new Feed tab. Under the Feeder tab, people can see content in categories such as posts from friends, posts from groups they belong to and pages they subscribe to, or a stream of everything combined and posted in reverse chronological order.

Mr. Zuckerberg said people would still have control over what they saw in the app with the Feed tab.

“One of the most requested features for Facebook is making sure people don’t miss their friends’ posts,” he said in a Facebook post. “The app will still open a personalized feed on the Home tab, where our discovery engine will recommend the content we think you’ll care about the most. But the Feed tab will give you a way to further customize and control your experience.”

The Facebook app update will be rolled out globally over the next week.

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