We have all become so accustomed to Facebook that most of us have stopped noticing how ugly and clunky it is. Facebook crowds the screen with a mishmash of menus, windows, lists, flashing ads, and so forth. Hideous.
Facebook looks like exactly what it is, a piece of feature-creepy software designed by a team that learned about user interface in the 1990s, back when AOL was a thing. Facebook has tried to make Instagram into something better, but each new release seems to make it more like Facebook.
This is to be expected. Facebook, like Google, Apple, and Microsoft, has become too big, bloated, and culturally hidebound to do anything different from what it already knows how to do. Facebook culture believes that Facebook is the center of existence, per omnia saeculo saeculorum.
TikTok is something entirely different.
Facebook was designed to be a point-and-click online bulletin board on steroids. By contrast, TikTok is designed like a dating app, where you swipe your screen to find things you like or get rid of things that you don't.
Facebook forces you to navigate around with various points and clicks--and then tries to cram as much as possible of that folderol onto a phone screen. By contrast, TikTok is all about swiping away what you don't like.
The dating app design center of TikTok is more than just easier to use. The rapid gratification allows the TikTok algorithm to very rapidly adapt to what you want to see. This happens literally within less than five minutes.
This is of course a type of artificial intelligence, and it's one that Facebook attempts to do as well. But when it comes to the effectiveness of the artificial intelligence, TikTok is Rick Sanchez and Facebook is Alfred E. Newman.
Moreover, Facebook is also full of ads. They're not as obtrusive or as obnoxious as YouTube ads, but they are floating there on the screen vying for your attention. And a lot of them actually attempt to be obnoxious in order to draw your eye to them.
TikTok, as it's currently implemented, never forces you to watch an ad and lets you treat ads exactly like you treat content. If you're not entertained within a split second, you just swipe the ad away. It's extremely unobtrusive.
TikTok changes the entire way companies advertise online. To have their ads seen, they have to be as entertaining as the best of the content on the site. Today's ad agencies have no clue (Cleo?) how to do this.
For agencies that master this, TikTok could be an incredible gold mine, because each of those highly entertaining ads will be precisely presented to the demographic that wants it and can be tuned to best match the demographic and drive the desired behavior.
Right now, it's mostly small businesses that are taking the most advantage of TikTok's algorithm. They create channels that people enjoy watching and then have products to sell, often on Etsy.
But back to Facebook. Facebook has completely lost the younger demographic. Like my kids, who are 17 and 15, Zoomers are only using TikTok and Snapchat, and maybe a little Instagram, a program about which they are decidedly not enthusiastic.
TikTok isn't just another social media platform. It's something that makes Facebook boring and obsolete. Facebook has such a large market presence it will of course survive, but TikTok makes it a dinosaur.