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Meta leans into AI-recommended content, in opposition to Instagram protest

Meta is a tale of two platforms. Whilst petitions ask for Instagram to be Instagram again and “stop trying to be TikTok”, Meta is moving entirely in the other direction. Namely, headed straight for AI-recommended content, just like TikTok.

In an earnings call, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined his plans for the Facebook platform, including AI-recommended content, saying: “One of the main transformations in our business right now is that social feeds are going from being driven primarily by the people and accounts you follow to increase also being driven by AI-recommended content that you’ll find interesting from across Facebook or Instagram, even if you don’t follow those creators. Social content from people you know is going to remain an important part of the experience and some of our most differentiated content, but increasingly we’ll also be able to supplement that with other interesting content from across our networks.”

“As our AI finds additional content that people find interesting, that increases engagement and the quality of our feeds. Reel engagement is also growing quickly. I shared last quarter that Reels already made up 20% of the time that people spend on Instagram. This quarter we saw a more than 30% increase in the time that people spent engaging with Reels across Facebook and Instagram. AI advances are driving a lot of these improvements, and one example is that after launching a new large AI model for recommendations, we saw a 15% increase in watch time in the Reels video player on Facebook alone.”

So, Zuckerberg has no intention of making Facebook Facebook again. In a platform already having trouble regaining the young vote it’s desperately looking for, is this the best move?