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Why we believe in diversity and build for discovery, by Meta’s Carrie Timms

Diversity can play an unexpected role in inspiring connections between people and businesses, writes Carrie Timms, director, Global Business Marketing, Meta EMEA.

As people and businesses work to bring more equality, representation and inclusivity to the world, the notion of ‘diversity’ permeates more of our lives. Embracing diversity allows us to better understand each other’s perspectives and is something we’re increasingly conscious of in our interactions.

Today, it seems that diversity’s moral importance is well understood, with many companies taking action to meet the expectations of modern, values-driven consumers. But there’s more about diversity for businesses to understand than this: a diverse outlook also allows businesses to connect with people they haven’t connected with already. Diversity opens up a pathway for businesses to discover new people altogether.

Diversity makes business sense

More than just inviting people ‘in’ and the idea of ‘inclusivity’, a truly diverse outlook includes listening, communicating and embracing different perspectives – perspectives that can have material real-world impact. For example, it’s proven that gender diversity can drive scientific discovery because it affects the questions asked and methods used to reach scientific insights.1

Equally, in business, it’s proven that diversity across ethnicity, culture and gender has a positive impact on performance.2 For example, companies with better gender diversity on executive teams are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies that don’t. The same goes for e-commerce: embracing diversity can help more people discover a business.

‘Discovery Commerce’ & how diversity unlocks discovery

The principle of ‘discovery commerce’ is how we at Meta think about the utility of our platform for commerce brands. Discovery commerce is about anticipating customer needs and matching products with people most likely to love them. For shoppers, these discoveries can feel delightful and serendipitous.

But what does this have to do with diversity? Well, if you think about it, without diversity, there can be no discovery. Businesses who limit their outlook will, by definition, limit their potential to be discovered by new shoppers. This is particularly true in online spaces, where we know people spend time actively seeking inspiration.

A more diverse outlook, however, and a more open-minded approach to potential customer connections opens up enormous possibilities: brands finding customers outside of their typical ‘target audience’; shoppers making serendipitous discoveries while online and in a discovery mindset.

In this way, ‘diversity’ and ‘discovery’ work hand in hand to the benefit of people and businesses alike. By connecting brands with like-minded people across the world, we can create the very best digital experiences for everyone and endless potential for discovery.

Diversity meets discovery at Ramadan

Ramadan is a great example of when diversity meets discovery. It provides an opportunity for progressive, inclusive businesses to embrace diversity at a variety of key moments. By doing so, brands can unlock the power of digital discovery for an engaged audience that is 2 billion people strong.3

What’s more, people are more open to discoveries during times when they change their behaviours and habits—such as during Ramadan. Behavioural science consultant Richard Shotton found that the likelihood of trying a new brand was 2.5 times higher among people who were experiencing a significant life event compared to those who weren’t.4

Contrary to some stereotypes, the month of Ramadan is not a homogenous, wholly inward-looking period. It actually splits into four distinct phases across more than 80 days – including preparation before the start of the holy month, shifting from worship and reflection to spirituality and community during the second half, and finishing with family-focused Eid celebrations.

Throughout these stages, observers are increasingly open to hear from businesses and are expecting to see engaging and personally-relevant content. More than 7 in 10 people make serendipitous discoveries during Ramadan.3

This means that businesses across CPG, e-commerce, retail, fashion, food, beverage and travel can open up to new people who are eager to discover.

Creators support these new connections

For businesses that are unsure of how to connect with a more diverse audience, creators can help land their message – and help reach people who haven’t experienced them before. Creators act as a word-of-mouth link between businesses and audiences. With their diverse outlook, creators are able to represent communities more authentically – in fact, 30% of people feel that a business understands them when they work with diverse creators​.6

Ramadan is no exception: creators play a particularly important role during this period. These diverse voices drive greater levels of representation​, with as many as 46% of shoppers using Meta technologies during Ramadan to watch live videos by creators.7

To connect with an audience in meaningful ways, businesses can explore different touchpoints with creators. Around 34% of shoppers who see content posted by creators with a more diverse background​ say they discover more new brands as a result.6

For example, Pepsi and creative agency Impact BBDO used Instagram Live to show how people can make connections while social distancing during Ramadan.​ They invited Tareq Al Harbi, a comedian, musician and one of Saudi Arabia’s most popular creators, to host a virtual Suhour on Instagram Live each week. He created engaging content by chatting and playing games with guest creators who were nominated by his followers. The campaign gained more than 21 million ​viewers at an engagement rate of 5.32%.8

Through this example, and many more, we can see how diversity is the fuel of a vibrant, progressive Internet – and discovery is the spark that lights that up. By speaking to a diverse audience, businesses can open up a whole new realm of discovery for people – reaching new audiences and building meaningful connections that last.

At Meta, that’s why we believe in diversity and build for discovery.


  1. “Why Diversity Helps To Produce Stronger Research” by Virginia Gewin, Nature, November 2018, https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07415-9
  2. “Delivering Through Diversity” by Hunt et al, McKinsey & Company, January 2018, https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/delivering-through-diversity
  3. Ramadan Discovery Commerce 2022, by Meta, October 2021, https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1qItkbnHKjfci8k4NOmhTekhlA8CDayh7PNkrXoNM4Ow/edit?usp=sharing
  4. “A Big, Habit-Changing Moment is Happening: Here’s What You Need to Know” by Richard Shotton, War, June 2020, https://www.warc.com/newsandopinion/opinion/a-big-habit-changing-moment-is-happening-heres-what-you-need-to-know/3670
  5. “Ramadan International Survey 2021” by TGM, https://tgmresearch.com/images/library/TGM_Ramadan_Global_Survey_2021_-_Full_Report.pdf
  6. “Impact of creator marketing on brand building and shopping” Study by YouGov and FB​
  7. “Ramadan and Eid Study” by YouGov (Meta-commissioned online survey of 13,567 people aged 18+), AE, BD, EG, ID, MY, NG, PK, SA, TR, 13th May to 3rd June 2021​
  8. Source: Facebook internal data, 2020​