Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg has outlined major changes to the social network’s newsfeed in a status update released on Thursday.
The changes will see a move from algorithms “focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”
This will involve less content from brands, businesses and media being shown versus content from friends on the site.
It will also see meaningful interaction prioritised over other forms of engagement. Zuckerberg had warned investors that some metrics are likely to flag in the wake of the changes.
The changes have received a mixed reception – many concerned about the impact of social media appreciate the move to make its better aspects more prominent, but brands and businesses that have invested in their social presence feel aggrieved.
The Atlantic bemoans the impact of frequent newsfeed changes on its business model: “When Facebook asked media to create Instant Articles, it submitted. When Facebook encouraged media to throw resources behind the production of short videos, media obeyed and shuffled precious editorial dollars into the pursuit.
“And now after monkeying with media, after exploiting media’s abject reliance on it, Facebook has essentially told media to kiss off. By downgrading journalism in his News Feed, he’s choking off a stream of traffic, and, therefore, choking off a stream of revenue.”
Zuckerberg has given examples of the kinds of content that may be prioritised in the coming months: “(…) there are many tight-knit communities around TV shows and sports teams. We’ve seen people interact way more around live videos than regular ones. Some news helps start conversations on important issues. But too often today, watching video, reading news or getting a page update is just a passive experience.”
He concludes: “At its best, Facebook has always been about personal connections. By focusing on bringing people closer together — whether it’s with family and friends, or around important moments in the world — we can help make sure that Facebook is time well spent.”
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