Facebook knows that it is not trendy to kids unlike before and they have to find a way to connect to them. This next experiment is one way to connect to them and it is weird.
According to TechCrunch, sources tell the publication that Facebook has spent quite the time building a hub targeted at the younger audience.
The hub is apparently called LOL and it contains a feed of funny videos, GIF like clips that are divided into categories. Such categories include such things like ‘For you’, ‘Animals’, ‘Fails’, ‘Look Mom No Hands’, ‘Savage’, ‘Pranks’ and more. Apparently such content is pulled from the News Feed from top meme Pages on Facebook.
Once users start scrolling the feed, it turns into theatre mode which auto advances the videos so that you can consume them at a go. There is special LOL reaction buttons which are “funny”, “alright” and “not funny” and you can share the content to your news feed.
Facebook is currently beta testing LOL with around 100 high school students in the US, which is a rather small number. They experience the hub as a replacement of their ‘Watch’ tab on their Facebook apps.
Apparently Facebook said that they have no plans to roll out LOL in Watch and they are pondering whether it will become a separate feature or a standalone app.
The interesting bit is that the sources told TechCrunch that the LOL design felt ‘cringey’ and it felt like Facebook was pretending to be young and hip. It reminds me of that episode on 30 Rock when Steve Buscemi was masquerading as a teenager.
Facebook has tried many times to connect to teens by trying to buy out Snapchat, copying Snapchat Stories and pasting them everywhere on their ecosystem and buying apps that add augmented masks like MSQRD. This could be a way to target this demographic and make them come back to the News Feed and we will have to see whether it will work.