Facebook Tests New Stories-Like Notifications to Boost Engagement

As Facebook continues to lose ground to TikTok, the platform is constantly trying to figure out new ways to keep people engaged.

Facebook’s latest experiment comes in the form of new Stories-like notification bubbles within your Notifications tab, which alert you to new posts shared by your connections.

It could be a good way to maximize engagement, and remind users their friends and connections are active in the app, while it may also help to avoid potential algorithmic re-ordering issues, which could see you miss certain updates.

Or it might just be a handy way to catch up with your top friends and what they’re posting – but using Stories-style notifiers really feels like Facebook is still chasing TikTok.

I mean, it does seem to have some practical value. But a more recent stats showing that users are spending a lot more of their time on TikTok, Facebook really needs to work at providing some more compelling reasons to keep people around, as opposed to them just checking in each day and staying on top of the latest big news from friends and family (or ensuring they don’t miss somebody’s birthday).

This is an element missed from Meta’s reporting shared last week. Facebook reported it added 31 million more daily active users in Q1 2022, taking its total DAU count to 1.96b.

This seems like great news for Facebook – especially considering it reported a quarter-on-quarter decline in daily actives in its previous update.

My question is how long are people spending on the app? While it’s just anecdotal, I admit that my time spent on Facebook has dramatically decreased. I still check it daily – even multiple times a day – but that’s more of a habit than an actual interest and I often leave the app quickly. This is on contrast to a few years ago when I spent hours on Facebook. Again, it’s just anecdotal. but I was the target demo for the platform for a long time.

So, are more people doing what I’m doing: checking in, then moving on to other platforms? If they are, that greatly reduces the value of Facebook’s unmatched reach, because if people aren’t spending much time in the app, that means less ad exposure, and it could well be that TikTok, with fewer users but potentially more time in app, is now a better placement option in terms of reach and boosting brand awareness.

Meta hasn’t shared an official update on time spent in its apps since 2016, when it reported that people were spending 50 minutes per day using Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.

The fact that Meta has not updated this figure suggests that it’s not increasing. Meanwhile, the amount of time that people spend on TikTok is clearly on the rise, in general, based on total downloads alone.

I will let you know if there is any more news on this front. In the meantime, tell me – are you spending less time on Facebook today?

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