Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Threads, has announced significant changes aimed at reducing the visibility of political content on its platforms. The move comes as part of an effort to allow users greater control over the type of content they encounter while browsing.
Starting in the coming weeks, Instagram and Threads will adjust their algorithms to limit the recommendation of political content. This means that unless users opt-in to receive such content, they will be less likely to come across posts related to politics, elections, or social issues while scrolling through their feeds or exploring new content.
How does it work?
The changes will affect public accounts and primarily impact content appearing in recommended feeds, such as Explore, Reels, in-feed recommendations, and suggested user lists. Users wishing to continue seeing political content can adjust their account settings to opt-in to receive such recommendations.
What about content from followed accounts?
Accounts that users choose to follow will not be affected by these changes. This means that users will still see political content from accounts they follow in their feeds and Stories as usual.
These changes may impact creators' visibility on the platform. Accounts that are not eligible to be recommended will not see any of their content surfaced to users, regardless of its content. Professional accounts will have access to tools to monitor their eligibility status and contest decisions that impact their visibility.
Meta's previous efforts
These updates build upon Meta's previous efforts to limit the prominence of political content on its platforms. In recent years, the company has sought to distance itself from the world of news and politics, citing concerns over negative engagement and scrutiny.
Why is this important?
The decision to limit political content recommendations is significant as it reflects Meta's commitment to providing a more tailored and positive user experience. By allowing users to control the type of content they encounter, Meta aims to create an inclusive and engaging platform for all users, regardless of their political preferences.
By giving users more control over the content they encounter, Meta aims to create a more tailored and positive experience for its users. These changes reflect a broader trend within social media companies to address concerns over the impact of political content on their platforms.