Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

Facebook introduces massive changes to newsfeed

Facebook overhauls news feed to focus on friends and family Facebook overhauls News Feed to promote 'more meaningful' posts
Patty Aguilar | 13 January, 2018, 00:02

Facebook has denied it is a media company, but in recent years, brands, media companies and other content creators have turned to Facebook for its unparalleled reach and engagement.

Anxious after facing flak for allowing the spread of fake and bogus news on social media platform, Facebook is now readying for some important changes in its news feed management.

Referring to a research conducted on social media, he said, "research that shows when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being".

It would take months to introduce the changes, Zuckerberg said in the post, adding he expected people to spend less time on Facebook and some other types of engagement to go down. "We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health". He said, "Video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years". Public posts from companies will become less visible in favour of content published by users' friends, family and groups, and posts that encourage "conversation" and "debate".

The changes are clearly based on the feedback that Facebook got recently about the spread of fake news, bogus media content, brands promotion and celebrity-related information. "But too often today, watching video, reading news or getting a page update is just a passive experience", he wrote.

"I'm changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions", Zuckerberg said Thursday.

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What's unclear is whether the changes could perpetuate an echo chamber effect, assuming users are more likely to interact with posts that reinforce their beliefs.

Facebook management claimed that this will lead to people spending less time on the social media platform but enjoying the more meaningful personal interaction.

Zuckerberg conceded that such changes could hurt Facebook's core metrics in some ways, but indicated he felt the business pain would be worth it.

Organisations on Facebook may see the popularity of their posts decrease as a result, the firm acknowledged. That's news shareholders may not want to hear, but Zuckerberg said he believes the changes will be mutually beneficial in the long run for Facebook's two billion users and its bottom line.

A shift away from non-ad content produced by businesses is a potentially severe blow to news organizations, many of which use Facebook to drive readership, but Zuckerberg said many such posts have been unhealthy.

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