Does Meta Really Want People to Make Things for Its Platforms?

Ryan Broderick:

At best Meta seems embarrassed of the people who make the content that keeps users on their apps. Or, at worst, they seem to hate them. There’s really no other explanation. Creators I’ve spoken to have described a deeply precarious existence in which they have to constantly adjust how they create content by trying to divine what each new algorithmic tweak might mean for how their posts show up in other people’s feeds. They live in constant fear of their pages being “disappeared” for some weird infraction. It sounds like a nightmare. The women eating out of toilets on Facebook aren’t eating out toilets because they like doing it. They’re eating out of toilets because Facebook’s insanely aggressive recommendation engine has pushed their content to ludicrous extremes because it’s constantly over-optimizing its own users. And because TikTok has redefined how social media works and left Meta completely unprepared for a future that’s quickly approaching, they want you eating out of toilets, but, now, it has to be in a Reel.

I imagine part of the reason for Meta’s reluctance to proudly showcase its most popular posts is because they are often junk, spam, or reposted TikToks. Imagine having one of the world’s largest audiences and being embarrassed by what they are seeing, in part because of technical decisions made to maximize user metrics.