Facebook, Instagram News Made for Awkward Week  – WWD

While the chief of Instagram Facing a Senate panel, business continued to grow for parent company Meta’s flagship platform last week, with Facebook The announcement is designed to hang more carrots in front of the creator.

Appear first Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri finds himself in the hot seat, as officials elected him in the face of reports that Instagram has failed to protect young users.

Following a blockbuster report and leaked internal research on the platform’s harmful psychological effects on some teenagers, the Senate subcommittee charged Mosseri, in his congressional testimony. 38 year old executive.

A key aspect of the investigation focuses on Instagram’s ranking algorithms and how they guide what children see in their feeds. They’re the same kind of algorithm that helps drive what products show up for purchase and shapes creator popularity, based on engagement. Mosseri says the company is working on a chronological ranking feature, which could launch next year.

“I realized that many of the people in this room have deep reservations about our company,” he said. “But I want to assure you that we have the same goal. We all want teenagers to be safe online.”

He points to a new safety feature announced on December 7 that helps kids track time online and encourages them to “take a break.”

But that hardly scratches the surface of what officials want to see. While Instagram, like other big tech companies, keeps the details of their data-smarts and algorithms secret, lawmakers want more transparency about what makes them tick. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) introduced a bill that would require tech platforms to disclose how they use data to rate content.

The testimony set the stage for an awkward week, as parent company Meta pushed, business as usual, in new trials at Facebook.

The details seem simple: On December 8On the same day Mosseri faced the senators, Facebook revealed that it was testing a “Professional” mode for profiles in the US. This feature allows select influencers to monetize their followers directly, rather than creating a separate Facebook Page, and opens up professional-grade possibilities.

“We want creators to reach their full potential on Facebook, and that means giving you ways to monetize and providing insights so you can understand what types of posts resonate. for its community,” the company wrote in a blog post. “As of now, these tools have only been available on Pages.… With the pro mode, eligible creators will be able to unlock revenue opportunities and gain access to tools to help grow. develop their audience.”

The differences between Pages and professional accounts may seem small, but the differences aren’t all new. Consider a company that makes products owned by a celebrity versus a star whose personal brand is a business and generates revenue. For example, Skims shapewear, beauty brand KKW Beauty and KKW Fragrance are distinct entities from Kim Kardashian West (although maintaining her popularity is clearly an activity).

Meta warns that being professional makes creators more public figures, as anyone can follow them and see the content of their feed. Creators can make a post public or friends-only, it’s added, but don’t specify whether a post is public by default, which seems possible. Individuals should include that in their decision before switching their personal accounts.

But there are also perks when it comes to upgrading.

The company has developed a new and highly profitable program tied to Reels, Instagram’s short video format. The feature launched on Facebook in September, and is currently in a pilot program called Reels Play, a bonus program of up to $35,000 monthly based on views. The program is available by invitation only for professional accounts.

Pro users also get Facebook Page-like insights about audience, shares, reactions, follower growth, and other insights. Or they can stick with Pages, where the company continues to grow. Facebook Page admins have a new dashboard for tools and performance tracking, plus new feed updates. A new two-step composer with built-in content scheduling and cross-posting to groups is also in beta.

These changes are incorporated into Meta’s broader creator initiative. The company is committed to paying $1 billion to the community of creators and the framework has been growing through bonuses, bonuses, signups, and other tactics. Last week, the live stream showcase, Star, switched from In-app purchases into the new “Star Store” powered by Facebook Pay to avoid Apple and Google fees.

The moves on Facebook and Instagram may seem different, but they make up a substantial story.

Meta and Instagram use algorithms to help drive the popularity of influencers and create stars on their platforms, then they engage these creators in new and exciting ways. to avail of the following, whether through Instagram affiliate stores, professional Facebook accounts, tips or other features. The aim is to encourage people to create content and gain more fans.

This cycle creates an online center of influence and gravity that fuels social commerce and may one day boost Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. During an October earnings call, he listed creators among the company’s “three product priorities,” along with “the next commerce and computing platform.”

A vision around consumers and others continuing to interact, shop, and create content to satisfy ever-hungry needs, and younger users may be key, as they tend to be voracious social media user. According to surveys cited by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 90% of adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 have used social media.

Of course, the definition of “younger” is relative. At Facebook and Instagram, the line is 13 years old, with younger kids banned from having accounts – although Instagram is reportedly developing a separate app for younger kids and Mosseri isn’t committed to abandoning the plan. that plan. As for Meta’s latest plans, it’s not clear whether Facebook’s Pro mode has an age limit. Otherwise, it could establish youth influencers as public figures, and it’s unclear whether any protections will be in place.

For now, users 13 years of age and older are still welcome on the network, and that’s to Meta’s commercial interests. According to Google, 68% of teenagers shop online.

Tech companies have interests beyond merely protecting a valuable segment of customers. The youth issue could open up to broader scrutiny, as senators ask major platforms to disclose how they use data and algorithms.

Big Tech has never been willing to reveal such fundamental secrets without a fight. But last week, it showed that, even amid growing pressure, it doesn’t hesitate to showcase how it builds on them.

https://wwd.com/business-news/technology/facebook-instagram-news-pro-accounts-senate-testimony-1235016550/ Facebook, Instagram News Made for Awkward Week  – WWD


Linh is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Linh joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: linh@interreviewed.com.

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