The Home tab will be the page that the app automatically opens to on starting up, with suggested posts and ads, similar to TikTok, or Instagram Reels.
The Feeds tab, on the other hand, will have posts from people and pages the user follows, in chronological order.
The Feeds tab is customisable; users can curate a Favorites list of people whose content they would like to filter into this tab. Feeds will have ads, according to a Meta press release, but no suggested posts.
“One of the most requested features for Facebook is to make sure people don't miss friends' posts,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post announcing the change.
"So today we're launching a Feeds tab where you can see posts from your friends, groups, Pages and more separately in chronological order. 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," he added.
Meta’s press release said that the new features will be implemented globally over the week following 21 July, when the announcement was made.
The company went on to mention their machine learning ranking system used to deliver personalised content on the Home tab, and their investment in AI to better this experience. This corroborates with reports stating that the Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox, had plans to increase the number of graphic processing units fivefold in Facebook’s data centres, to support AI.
Is Facebook Threatened by TikTok?
Facebook’s move to ape TikTok is understandable, considering that in 2021, Cloudflare reported TikTok as the most visited domain in the world, while Facebook was in the third place.
After launching internationally in 2017, TikTok has already amassed 1 billion monthly active users, becoming one of the fastest-growing apps worldwide. YouTube Shorts is pulling in over 6.5 billion views a day and has crossed 5 trillion views in total.
Meanwhile, Facebook ended up losing users at the end of 2021 for the first time in its 18-year history.
However, Facebook has a lot on offer that TikTok doesn't (like Facebook Marketplace, Events, among others) and the social networking site still holds captive almost 2 billion daily active users.
The adoption of the TikTok format by Facebook is another instance of a way of social sharing innovated by one platform being co-opted by others.
This has been done before, with Snapchat’s Stories feature, now a staple of not just Instagram, but even a part of YouTube, WhatsApp, and almost any app you see offering content to consume.
(With inputs from Reuters and Mashable.)