The company introduces transparency and testing new user control tools.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has shed light on the decision-making process of its AI systems, which determine the content displayed on users’ timelines. In a move towards greater transparency, Meta has unveiled 22 card systems that explain how its AI ranks and prioritizes content for the Feed, Stories, and Reels features on both platforms. Each card delves into specific aspects of Meta’s algorithms, providing users with a comprehensive understanding of how their feeds are curated.
For Facebook Feeds, Meta’s AI starts by gathering potential posts from friends and followed Pages. The system then takes into account various input signals, including the post creator, user interactions, and the number of likes from friends. Based on these factors, the AI assigns scores to posts, ranking them according to relevance and value for the individual user. The card systems also offer guidance on personalizing content by instructing users on actions such as unfollowing individuals or groups, as well as indicating preferences for specific subjects through the “show more” or “show less” options.
Nick Clegg, Meta’s President of Global Affairs, outlined additional customization tools available to users. Facebook’s Feed Preferences and Instagram’s Suggested Content Control Center provide centralized menus for personalized adjustments. Moreover, Meta is testing a new feature on Instagram that allows users to express their interest in recommended Reels, enabling the app to show more similar content. Currently, users can only indicate disinterest in specific Reels. Clegg further mentioned Meta’s efforts to enhance the visibility of the “show more” and “show less” feature.
The disclosure of Meta’s AI algorithms comes ahead of the implementation of the Digital Markets Act by the European Union in 2024. This legislation mandates increased transparency from online platforms like Facebook and Instagram regarding their recommendation algorithms. It also requires platforms to offer chronological feeds and prohibits targeted ads based on religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or political affiliation. Meta has been proactively striving for transparency by introducing an updated version of the “Why am I seeing this ad?” tool, which offers users more insights into how their activities inform ad targeting.
With these initiatives, Meta aims to provide users with a clearer understanding of the factors influencing their content experiences on Facebook and Instagram. By embracing transparency and empowering users with customization options, Meta seeks to foster a more informed and tailored social media experience.