Facebook Is Testing LOL, a Video Feed of Memes, to Try to Win Back Teens

The social network said it will not be added to Watch

LOL pulls content from top meme pages on the social network zoljo/iStock
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Facebook is taking another step to stem the tide of teens leaving its platform with its test of LOL, a feed of memes in the form of videos and GIFs.

A spokesperson for the social network said, “We are running a small-scale test and the concept is in the early stages right now,” declining to offer any further details.

Josh Constine of TechCrunch reported that LOL is in a private beta-test with some 100 high-school students, and those students signed non-disclosure agreements with the consent of their parents to participate in focus groups and one-on-one testing with Facebook employees.

According to Constine, LOL pulls content from top meme pages on the social network, and it is divided into categories including For You, Animals, Fails, Pranks, Wait for It, Savage, Classics, Gaming, Celebs, School and Stand Up.

Once users open a collection or begin scrolling on the feed, LOL converts into a theater mode with a black border, auto-advancing to more clips, Constine reported, adding that reaction buttons appear beneath each video for Funny, Alright and Not Funny,

Videos on LOL also include share buttons, and people can submit videos to LOL, according to Constine.

Facebook confirmed to Constine that it has no plans to add LOL to video destination Facebook Watch, and it is still deciding whether to make it a feature in the social network’s flagship application or a stand-alone app.

Other attempts by Facebook over the past couple of years to keep teens engaged with its platform included stand-alone apps such as Poke, Slingshot, Lifestage and, most recently, Lasso—the first three have since been shuttered—as well as its acquisition of tbh in October 2017 (the tbh app was shuttered last July).

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.