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In its iPhone and Android apps, there will be a Home tab for the content Meta thinks users want to see - which can include Reels Stories, and more - and a Feeds tab for content that users actively follow such as friends’ posts, groups, Facebook Pages, and favourites.
“One of the most requested features for Facebook is to make sure people don’t miss friends’ posts. So today we’re launching a Feeds tab where you can see posts from your friends, groups, Pages and more separately in chronological order”, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post announcing the change.
“The app will still open to a personalized feed on the Home tab, where our discovery engine will recommend the content we think you’ll care most about. But the Feeds tab will give you a way to customize and control your experience further.”
Meta says that it takes into account thousands of signals when using artificial intelligence to rank content in the Home feed, “to help cut through the clutter and rank content in the order we think you will find most valuable”.
The two tabs are found at the top of the Facebook app, where they will appear in the shortcut bar. Meta says that the layout will change over time based on which tabs users frequent, but tabs can also be pinned for consistent access. The ‘Suggested For You’ posts have also been completely removed.
These changes will be rolled out globally over the next week.
The new design is similar to Instagram’s recent update, which brought back the chronological feed by sorting content into three categories: “Following” for posts chronologically, “Favorites” for posts from particular accounts, and a main algorithmically sorted feed also called “home”.
Facebook has come under increased pressure in recent years from other emerging platforms such as Snapchat and, more recently, TikTok.
As a result, the company has gone through several refreshes of its own platform and the introduction of similar features to its rivals – such as short-form videos – in an effort to fight off competition.
But some users have complained that as Facebook has expanded as a service, many of the things they come to the site for – such as seeing the latest updates from friends and family, have become harder to find.
Additional reporting by Associated Press