Facebook Looks To Earn Back Trust and Bring People Together

September 29, 2020 • Shannon Flynn


Facebook announced a host of changes to their apps at their annual F8 conference in San Jose, CA last week. A company that has been mired in controversy, Facebook continually stressed its renewed prioritization of user privacy. Owner of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, the company has had many controversies over the past year. Most notably, privacy issues stemming from accusations that they sold personal data to companies have been at the forefront of the outrage. In an effort to gain back the trust of users, Facebook attempted to paint themselves as a company that places high importance on user privacy. They also put a major emphasis on community, remind people that social media is supposed to unite people. With that in mind, here are some of the ways Facebook is trying to earn back people’s trust while bringing them together:

More Opportunities For Private Messaging Between Apps

One of Facebook’s efforts to give social media experiences more privacy is to increase opportunities for private messages and one-on-one interactions. They hope to accomplish this with better data encryption so even Facebook cannot access your private messages. CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg said: “the three fastest-growing areas of online communication are private messaging, groups, and stories.” Facebook is attempting to lead the private one-on-one and group messaging revolution by providing more ways to privately message people across all of their platforms. If you are on Instagram, you will now be able to direct message a friend through Facebook Messenger or post to one of your Facebook groups. Groups will also now be a bigger part of Facebook and will include the data encryption of private messages.

Instagram Will Hide Like Counts

In a big development for the rapidly growing industry of social media influencing, Instagram will now stop showing how many likes your posts get. While it will only be an experiment at first, Instagram is attempting to get people to stop focusing on likes and more on connecting with friends and family. The concern on Instagram’s end is that social media has become too much of a competition, with people fixating on the attention they receive through the number of likes their posts get. A person who posts a photo will still be able to see who likes their photos, but Instagram will no longer count it for you. If you want to know how many people liked your post, you’ll have to manually count it. Talk about time-consuming!

A Group Watch Video Feature

Much like the app Twitch, Facebook will be experimenting with a “group watch” technology where people can watch videos together in real time. Launched this past November, this co-viewing feature is meant to further unite people and add to the community experience they are looking to create with their apps. Groups on Facebook will be able to schedule a “Watch Party” gathering and have their comments threaded so people can join in on the discussion. Facebook will also allow people to go live with the feature so everyone can react in real time together.

Social media, in its ideal form, is supposed to be about connecting with people. Privacy issues, fake news, like counts, and other controversies have made it the ire of many. There doesn’t seem to be much in-between these days with social media. People either have a strong dislike for it or an unhealthy obsession. Facebook is looking to get back to what social media was supposed to be about, connecting through communities. It is supposed to be a place where people interact and experience life together no matter how far away they physically are from each other. Time will tell if these changes will have a positive impact on the social media landscape.