META enabling advertisers through its AI investments

Following a year focused on efficiency in 2023, Meta has declared artificial intelligence (AI) as its primary focus for 2024, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg announcing aggressive investments in technology that spans across all aspects of the company’s operations, including users, creators, businesses, and developers. During a recent earnings call, Zuckerberg highlighted that AI, particularly the generative type, contributed to a substantial 24% year-over-year growth in Meta’s advertising business in Q4, reaching a total of $38.7 billion. In a virtual roundtable on February 7, Meta executives elaborated on their AI plans, detailing what advertisers and agencies can anticipate this year, and shared success stories.

Alvin Bowles, the Vice President of Meta’s global business group, emphasized that 2023 marked a significant turning point for the company, evident in the Q4 earnings that demonstrated Meta’s impact on advertisers using its tools.

In addition to the growth in ad revenue, Meta experienced increases in users and watch time in the last quarter. Daily watch time across all video types grew by over 25% year-over-year, and users shared Reels 3.5 billion times per day.

Bowles highlighted that Meta is currently in the midst of its AI journey, emphasizing that AI is not a recent addition but a fundamental aspect of Meta’s operations. He stated, “AI has significantly enhanced the performance of our ad system and is the driving force behind personalized content across all our apps. AI forms a foundational part of the experiences we offer to both individuals and businesses.”

Meta’s multiyear investments in machine learning, automation, and AI within its ad products, designed to adapt to shifts in the digital ad industry, are yielding success for advertisers. Bowles emphasized the importance of Meta’s ability to gather feedback from hundreds of millions of users worldwide, a unique advantage owing to its massive global scale. He explained that this feedback has played a crucial role in rapidly improving Meta’s AI systems, particularly in areas like Reels and ads, where the company had to adjust to new regulations. Bowles concluded that as a result of strategic decisions made over the past few years, nearly all Meta advertisers are now utilizing AI tools for creating and targeting their ads.