After multiple failed attempts of Facebook Watch, Lasso and IGTV to reel in more teenagers, Facebook is secretly developing a new feed of funny videos and GIF-like clips called ‘LOL’. It is divided into categories like “For You,” “Animals,” “Fails,” “Pranks”. The new platform will also feature contents from top meme pages on Facebook. 100 high-school students reportedly are testing out the beta mode in the forms of focus groups and one-on-one testing with Facebook staff after signing non-disclosure agreements.
We are running a small scale test and the concept is in the early stages right now. – Facebook spokesperson
The high-school testers are using LOL as a replacement for their Watch tab, but Facebook has no intention of releasing LOL in Watch. In fact, Facebook has not decided yet whether LOL will be a separate feature in one of Facebook’s main app or it will be an entirely standalone app. Teenagers mainly are deserting Facebook and opting out for other social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Facebook is taking the help of memes to lure them back again on Facebook.
However, it is not clear yet whether Facebook will be successful in this new venture or not. The memes that are being shared on the LOL, some testers describe it as “cringey.” Moreover, the contents are not fresh and new and sometimes the memes are days, even weeks old. Once signed in into LOL, users are greeted with a myriad of options called “Dailies” under which comes various other options, such as “Look Mom No Hands” and just below that there is a “For You” category.
Other categories include “Wait For It”, “Savage”, “Classics’’. ‘’Gaming’’, “Celebs”, “School”, and “Stand Up”. Each video clip in LOL is cut up into several seconds long which the user can fast-forward. This appears to be somewhat of a reminiscent of Instagram’s Story. Below each content, there is a set of LOL reaction buttons labeled “Funny”, “Alright”, and “Not Funny”. Users can share the video or paste in a URL to submit a video.
Facebook cannot ignore the teens since for them to do so would cost them greatly in revenue. Facebook sees an opportunity here too and is in no way taking a backseat in this area. To grab a hold of the attention of the teenagers, LOL sounds like the right platform for Facebook to share meaningless fun content.