Instagram and Facebook feeds are about to be swarmed by accounts users don't follow

Instagram and Facebook feeds are about to be swarmed by accounts users don't follow
Instagram and Facebook users should expect to see more content from users they don't follow by the end of 2023.SOPA Images/Contributor
  • Meta held its second-quarter earnings call on Wednesday.
  • CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors the amount of content from accounts users don't follow on Instagram and Facebook would more than double next year.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a call with investors on Wednesday said that the content users see in their Instagram feeds from accounts they do not already follow will double by the end of next year.

"Social 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," said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the second-quarter earnings call, according to a transcript of the meeting.

Zuckerberg said about 15% of content sent to Facebook feeds and "a little more than that" on Instagram feeds came from Meta's recommendation algorithm. By the end of next year, Zuckerberg said the company expected "these numbers to more than double."

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A spokesperson for Meta did not immediately return Insider's request for comment Thursday.

Instagram is in the midst of an identity crisis as the platform works to keep up with other growing social-media platforms and apps, namely TikTok. The company in late 2020 launched "Reels," its short vertical video platform that directly mimics the TikTok experience.


As Instagram and Facebook shift to more AI-driven content, many expect they'll more closely resemble TikTok. That platform rose to prominence largely for its "For You Page" mechanism, which delivers users content from other accounts they aren't necessarily following and attempts to serve videos that the algorithm predicts they'll engage with and watch.

"Reels engagement is also growing quickly," Zuckerberg said Wednesday, according to the transcript. He stated that viewership of Reel videos accounts for 20% of the time people now spend on Instagram.

"This quarter we saw a more than 30% increase in the time that people spent engaging with Reels across Facebook and Instagram," Meta's CEO said, noting that much of this increase was attributable to advancements in its artificial intelligence recommendations.

The company's ongoing push to increase video content has angered some users, creators, and celebrities, as Insider previously reported. Creators who run meme accounts staged a small protest on Saturday, calling for Instagram to redesign its practices around moderation.

Celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian have also publicized frustrations with Instagram, both posting a story on the platform that called on the company to "Make Instagram Instagram Again." The movement demanding that Instagram prioritize photos was started by the photographer Tati Bruening, who has over 321,000 followers on the platform. Bruening over the weekend started an online petition that has reached more than 220,000 signatures in less than a week.


It calls on Meta to scale back its attempts to replicate TikTok and asks Instagram to go back to its "roots" in photos sharing. Users have complained they aren't seeing content — namely photos — from their friends as Instagram beefs up its recommendation algorithm.

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri in a video on Tuesday said the company would continue to make improvements to the algorithm, which can be paused entirely for up to a month in its current iteration. He said the company was committed to supporting photos, even as it pushes ahead on Reels and video products.