Mark Zuckerberg is doubling down on his plan to make Facebook and Instagram feeds more like TikTok — despite taking flak from Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and other high-profile users over the changes.
The Meta CEO told shareholders Wednesday that Facebook and Instagram plan to at least double the amount of posts on users’ feeds from accounts they don’t follow. Such posts will make up at least 30% of users’ feeds by the end of next year, compared to about 15% now, according to Zuckerberg.
“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,” Zuckerberg said.
Zuckerberg’s comments come after users of both sites have griped in recent weeks about their feeds being taken over by algorithm-recommended posts from users they don’t know or follow.
On Instagram, many of the seemingly random posts inserted into users’ feeds have been short, TikTok-style videos called “Reels.”
Instagram has aggressively pushed Reels as TikTok has eaten into its market share. TikTok primarily shows users posts from people they don’t know rather than their friends.
Many Instagram users — including Kardashian and Jenner — are unhappy with the changes. The pair shared posts earlier this week urging Instagram to “Stop trying to be TikTok” and “Make Instagram Instagram Again” by rolling back the changes.
Yet Zuckerberg shrugged off the complaints from some of Instagram’s biggest users, saying that the new, AI-recommended content push will expose users to more “texts, images, links, group content and more” from accounts they don’t follow.
“Building a recommendation system across all these types of content is something we’re uniquely focused on,” Zuckerberg said.
Meta’s algorithm shift comes as the company is in an especially vulnerable position.
The company reported its first ever quarterly drop in revenue on Wednesday, with a global recession looming and competitive pressures weighing on its digital ads sales.
As Zuckerberg sinks billions into his attempt to pivot to the “metaverse,” Meta’s shares have sunk by 50% so far this year.
Shares were down an additional 4.5% in pre-market trading on Thursday following the earnings report.