On Thursday, July 21, Facebook introduced an update to the way it shows content to its users. Alongside its curated content feed, the platform will now show a feed that organizes content from the people and pages you follow without any recommendations or suggestions – but is based on a chronological order.
The move comes after some of its rivalling social media platforms, such as TikTok and Twitter, have already offered a way for users to access a way where all content posted by accounts they follow are displayed. The recommendation model that is used by social media platforms typically use data based on what each user searches for, or views, on respective platforms. Based on this data, users see a "recommended" or "suggested" content feed that is curated by the platforms' proprietary machine learning content recommendation algorithms.
Touching upon this, Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Meta (formerly Facebook), said that one of the most requested features that users have asked for is to be able to see all posts made by the people they follow – and not need to only see a selected, curated view.
"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. But the Feeds tab will give you a way to customize and control your experience further," Zuckerberg added.
While the new chronological feed will exist on an individual tab within the Facebook app now, it will still open to the company's recommended feed. This suggests that the platform will likely continue to focus on marketing its recommendation algorithm.
To be sure, Twitter already offers a shortcut that allows users to switch between a recommended home feed, or a chronological feed that would show all content posted by people users follow. TikTok, which has been banned in India since June 2020, also offers a chronological feed. Facebook, it is important to note, has previously said at its congressional hearing in 2019 that it considers TikTok to be a rival platform.
Apart from rolling out a similar way for users to control their content feed, Meta has also made a push for short form video content with Reels on Instagram.