Meta Shares How AI Dictates Instagram and Facebook Feeds

In a bid for better transparency, Meta explains how its using AI to surface content on Facebook and Instagram.

Meta has given more details about how it’s using AI to rank content on user’s Feeds and how we will gain more control over them 

Today, Meta’s President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, published a Newsroom post giving greater visibility on how the social giant is using AI to rank content on user’s feeds, reels, stories and other surfaces, across Facebook and Instagram. 

The company, which has historically been opaque regarding its use of technology in its algorithms, has presented a new, more open version of Meta, in order to challenge the perception that users are “powerless over the content they see”. 

How Meta Uses AI in Social Media Feeds

Meta has shared how it uses AI in to dictate what content is seen and by who.

Meta uses AI systems to decide what content appears, informed by user interactions such as post shares, signals, survey responses and other types of inputs they’re calling system cards. There are 22 system cards which Meta have released to the public and help them to deeply understand user preferences. 

These system cards work to understand the value of a piece of content to an individual, predict the content that is most relevant to them, and most likely to foster a meaningful interaction.

The worry with AI recommended content systems is that it can turn social platforms into an echo-chamber, with detrimental effects. However, the system cards also recommend content from accounts which are not in the user’s existing network. 

These unconnected content recommendations help users discover new interests, new accounts and evolve with them as their interests evolve over time. 

For each post a user sees in their feed the signals include: 

  • Who posted it
  • How they have previously interacted with that person
  • Whether it’s a photo, a video or a link
  • How popular the post is based on things such as how many of their Friends liked it and Pages that re-shared it. 

How will Users get Greater Control over their Feeds?

As with all AI, the output is only as good as the input and the more data is input over time the more accurate the output becomes. 

President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, added that Meta is testing new controls and making others more accessible so it is clearer to users how they can customize their experience and what they see in their feeds. 

As such they’re expanding the ‘Why Am I Seeing This?’ feature in the coming weeks, as well as other similar features to feedback to the platform whether users are interested or not in what they see in one tap.

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A Commitment to Transparency

As AI plays an increasingly central role in our online experiences, the conversation around AI regulation recently has become louder among politicians and tech industry experts. 

It seems like a tactical choice for Meta to be more open around their use of AI: “With rapid advances taking place with powerful technologies like generative AI, it’s understandable that people are both excited by the possibilities and concerned about the risks,” said Nick Clegg. 

It’s wise for companies making use of the tech to get ahead by offering insights and clarity ahead of any regulation coming in so they won’t have to make any major adjustments when that day does come in the not too distant future. 

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Written by:
Abby Ward is a contributor at and freelance search engine marketing (SEM) specialist. Since graduating from Kingston University London in 2015 with Bachelor's degree in Journalism with French, she has worked in many areas of digital marketing including website management, SEO, and paid media. Her specialist topics span her professional and personal interests in search social media, ad-tech, education, food & beverage, hospitality, and business.
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