Home Tech With 2 billion users, Facebook wants to focus more on ‘social discovery’ powered by AI

With 2 billion users, Facebook wants to focus more on ‘social discovery’ powered by AI


As Facebook hits over 2 billion daily active users, it plans to focus more on the ‘social discovery’ of content powered by using artificial intelligence (AI). According to Tom Alison, VP of Facebook at Meta, the platform’s community is “still growing” and it has to balance the need of its users to discover new creators as well as the right content. 

“We want to make it so that anybody can make a post share a photo, share a short-form video, and they can be discovered kind of across the wide user base that is Facebook, and we’re really starting to see that work,” Allison stressed. 

“How do you find that perfect piece of content for you? That is a huge technical AI challenge that I think you can see in our product today. We’re getting better and better and better as a result of our investments,” Alison said at a press conference He stressed that Facebook wants to “surface great, interesting content from people that one might not be connected, but would be interested to follow.” The best example for him is creators who are gaining popularity on Facebook as well.

When asked about the kind of role ‘generative AI’ — a term increasingly being used to define AI where the machine learning algorithms can ‘generate’ text or images based on an input– could play for Facebook, Allison said they were excited by the possibilities it presented.

“What you’re going to see from us in terms of generative AI is thinking through how we give people creative superpowers. How do we take a photo that I’ve taken, and maybe enhance it again, not just a filter, but maybe say hey, take this photo of my daughter and put her in a cool Halloween costume,” he said. 

The idea is that Facebook and other Meta apps could use generative AI to ensure creations that can enhance a user’s photos or videos based on input.

Allison said one would likely see such features across Meta and stressed that Meta has “some of the best researchers in the world doing state-of-the-art modelling and we’re going to be bringing this into kind of all of our products over time.”

Meta is also using AI to focus on what Allison termed ‘content integrity’. The company uses AI to detect content that violates the platform’s “community standards” and ensure that such content is removed, less likely to be seen or downranked. The second way it is using AI is to look at recommendations.

Another trend Facebook says is seeing is that people consume content on the platform, but then share it with friends and family via messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messengers, etc. This also explains why the Facebook app now has the option to share on WhatsApp as well.

When asked how Facebook recommends content, Allison said they look at several signals, and these include the kind of content one has consumed in the past or commented on, and finding creators or pages that share similar content.

 “We have tools in our app when you see a recommendation that allows you to say I want to see more of this type of content or see less of it. We look at those what we call signals and we then determine how to show you less of something or show you more of something in response to your preference,” Allison said.

He added that Facebook continues to have a “timeless value proposition around social connections,” and that one new change in social relationships is that people want to follow creators and know everything about their lives. “Increasingly we’re building products that will allow you to chat with creators as well. You can have a relationship with these folks, even though you may not know them in real life,” he added.

According to him, users are increasingly coming to Facebook to be entertained, which has likely increased given creators can cross-post Reels to their Instagram and Facebook pages as well. The Groups feature is also helping Facebook’s engagement, according to Allison.

On the competition with TikTok, Allison admitted that the platform showed the power of short-form videos, but added that they also feel that in some aspects TikTok is chasing their platforms.

Elaborating further, he said, “When I open TikTok, they’re asking me to find my friends, they are asking me to share stories. They’re asking me to engage with more social features and reshare something or a message. These are all features that were either pioneered or really evolved on Facebook and Instagram. The experience is much more interesting when you’re finding something that you’re interested in, and sharing it with your friends.”

News Source: Indian Express

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