Meta Announces New Topics Feature For Political Content Recommendations On Threads

Tech Gian Meta is on the rise to compete with arch-rival X as the US elections draw near.

The company had previously spoken about how it was not keen on allowing any kind of political content recommendations. But today, it has altered its mind and opted to roll out a new test feature for the Threads app.

The trending rollout might be their answer to automated recommendations so that users on the app could find a list of trending topics that others were seen discussing through the popular social media app.

The feature would be dubbed Today’s Topics and it would be based on the likes of what’s trending in the community and which posts users are mostly interacting with today. Meta explained how the feature would be found on Threads in two specific areas. This entails the Search Page and the For You newsfeed.

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram explained that, "Our content specialists will review the topics selected by our AI systems to make sure they’re not duplicative or confusing, but by and large, we want them to accurately represent what is actually topical on Threads. Political trends will be eligible." Adding further, "We’ll learn from this test and iterate over time."

Moreover, the algorithm would similarly take into consideration a long list of signals that entails the number of discussions surrounding one specific topic and how many individuals were engaging with the posts seen online in that category.

The company added how the long list of content specialists found on the team will make sure the topics are not violating the page’s Community Guidelines and a whole list of integrity guidelines too.

In the same manner, it mentioned how the firm’s team would ensure there were no duplicates for a certain category and that any topics in this list were not deemed to be misleading or nonsensical.

Additionally, all users would be given the chance to flag content they feel is problematic in a certain case that surfaces online and violates guidelines. But that would not be caught immediately by the page’s list of moderators.

Meta's Threads app launches Today’s Topics feature, allowing users to engage in real-time discussions on trending subjects.

Now the point in question that happens to be on many people’s minds is whether or not Meta would be able to silence political content seen across X’s Topics feature. Remember, just last week, it spoke about no longer adding political recommendations through apps like Instagram and Threads.

This change would affect the recommendations feature seen on both the leading social media platforms. Moreover, this alteration would also affect things like Reels on the Instagram platform and Instagram Explore, not to mention recommendations done in-feed through both Instagram and Threads.

But that was then and this is now. The company says it would not be suppressing any topics linked to the politics genre. They only hope to get rid of political content if they’re seen to be in violation of the Community Guidelines or any kind of political topic.

Today, such a feature does make sense as it timely reflects all kinds of relevant topics seen on the platform, while customized recommendations would be barred.

So as you can see, such topics would be better determined thanks to algorithms. They are not individual to end users in the sense that they would not be swept up through the app’s content purge, thanks to recommendations seen online.

Such a feature seen on Threads by Meta is deemed to be a source of competition for arch-rivals like X which was known as Twitter in the past. This is because it would give rise to users seeking timely chats and debates that arise on the platform.

This means saying hello to a feed that’s more real-time as compared to before. In the same manner, it would help users look for debates and conversations on trending matters, giving a more real-time feeling at all times that may have been lacking in the past.

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