(Update at 5:17 PM ETA Meta spokesperson sent this statement in response to Instagram user complaints: “Based on our findings and community feedback, we are pausing full screen testing on Instagram so we can explore other options, and are temporarily reducing the number of recommendations you see in your feed so we can It’s about improving the quality of your experience. We understand that changes to the app can be tweaking, and while we believe Instagram needs to evolve as the world changes, we want to take the time to make sure we get this right.”
Regarding recent improvements to the algorithm designed to combat the spread of misinformation, the spokesperson noted that Zuckerberg said on the call, “Overall, we’ve made great progress ‘modifying content’ over the past few years, and I’m proud of that.” He says most content moderation is done through AI, and the company’s Community Standards Enforcement Report will continue to monitor AI performance by tracking the “percentage of harmful content” that systems identify and take action on before someone has to report it. we.”)
Hundreds of thousands of people recently signed a Change.org petition asking Instagram to stop taking up space in their feeds by recommending many reels from accounts they don’t follow. Soon, the owner of Instagram Meta confirmed that these users are not just imagining that there is a sudden torrent of Reels ruining their online social lives. Short videos currently make up about 15 percent of users’ Instagram and Facebook feeds — and soon, often, all updates from friends that users choose to follow will be pushed to the side.
Despite all the negative comments, Meta revealed on a earnings call that it plans to double the number of AI-recommended reels seen by users. The company estimates that in 2023, about a third of its Instagram and Facebook feeds will be recommended content.
“One of the major shifts in our work right now is that social feeds are going from being primarily driven by the people and accounts you follow to being increasingly driven by AI recommending content you find interesting via Facebook or Instagram,” says Mark Zuckerberg, President Meta CEO, “If you don’t follow these creators.”
The company’s plan is to increase user engagement with Reels, and then expand advertising revenue through Reels ads. On the call, which was her last as chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg says Reels is part of Meta’s “relentless” innovation effort to deliver “the tools and products that help advertisers drive business results.”
For advertisers, Reels definitely looks like a new opportunity to reach users.
Sandberg discussed an example where the Wild Alaskan Company delivered sustainable seafood, testing Reels during an advertising campaign that helped the company lower the cost of subscribers and increase returns on its ad spend. Not every advertiser finds Reels easy to use, but overall, Meta says Reels are growing faster than Stories, with expectations that Reels is on track to generate $1 billion in annual revenue — more than Stories did in its first year.
“Strong reel growth continues to drive engagement across Facebook and Instagram,” Zuckerberg says, citing Reels and its content-recommending discovery engine as key parts of Meta’s strategy to generate enough ad revenue to weather current financial setbacks. He also said that user interaction is steadily increasing. He took that to suggest that Reels has improved the quality of user feeds by relying on complex AI that is better trained to recommend more content that users find obviously interesting, share it often with friends and spark new social connections.
But many users refuse to consider the reels as innovative or interesting. The petitioners complain that on Instagram they only want to see cute pictures of friends and family, and not more content from unfamiliar accounts.
“Stop trying to be TIKTOK!” Tati Bruening, creator of the Change.org petition (which is still in progress, though Meta shares its plans to continue copying TikTok) has posted. The petition currently aims to have 500,000 signatures. “We have TikTok for a reason, and let’s face it, the only reels loaded are recycled TikToks and content the world has already seen. What’s so innovative and unique about retro content? Nothing!”