If you think Instagram and Meta, in general, have been making unpopular decisions lately, you are in for a tough ride as the Zuckerberg-owned company doubles down in its decisions to drive more engagement in a bid to increase the amount of time users spend on their apps.
In an announcement made by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, he states that the company will more than double the amount of content from recommended accounts people see while using Instagram and Facebook by the end of 2023
Zuckerberg explains that at the moment, such content from recommended accounts currently stands at 15% of the content on Facebook, while the percentage is already higher on Instagram.
Once implemented, the change will finally complete the radical departure of both Facebook and Instagram as platforms that show posts originating from a user’s social group or a list of friends.
Once again, you can not help but mirror the changes being made to what TikTok is already offering. The Chinese-owned company heavily leverages AI to serve up videos regardless of where the uploaders come from.
This different approach from TikTok has helped the platform grow exponentially and establish itself as one of the most used applications on in the world, and it seems like Meta wants to reclaim their diminishing user base.
Zuckerberg echoes the same sentiment of using AI on their platforms to drive more engagement. “Al finds additional content that people find interesting, that increases engagement and the quality of our feeds” he explains
However, rather than restricting themselves to only video content, he says that Meta will use AI to recommend all the content people publicly share on its device, including photos and even links.
“In that sense, I think what we’re doing is going to be pretty unique [compared to what TikTok is doing]… I don’t think people are going to want to be constrained to one format.” Zuckerberg adds.
When the last big algorithm change was made on Facebook back in 2018, the aim was to encourage “meaningful social interactions” between friends in the News Feed. Zuckerberg even believed that the change would lead to a decrease in time spent on the social network, but leave users feeling better. Now they want you glued to your phone for as long as possible.
The Meta CEO also mentioned that people are now shifting from sharing in feeds altogether and instead communicating over private messages. “One social trend that we’re seeing is that instead of people just interacting in comments in feeds, most people find interesting content in their feeds and then message that content to friends and interact there.” he explains
How these changes will be received by the users will be interesting to see, one thing is for sure however, Instagram and Facebook are leaving behind their identity to chase what is currently selling, if the trend changes in the next year or so, they might find themselves wanting to rebrand again and recapture the market they would have already lost due to these changes.