Facebook plans major changes to news feed

Facebook plans major changes to news feed

Last week, Zuckerberg said his resolution for 2018 was to "fix" the social network he co-founded.

Pressure has been building on Facebook and its CEO as the toxic content flowing through Facebook - violent live videos, fabricated news articles and divisive messages from Russian operatives to influence the 2016 US presidential campaign - has been blamed for ripping holes in the social fabric.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday the company is overhauling the news feed to prioritize posts from family and friends, as opposed to ones from brands and publishers. 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.

"We think that we're now slightly overvaluing how much time people spend on our platform and undervaluing how many meaningful interactions they have with other people", said Mosseri, who oversees News Feed.

Zuckerberg said an overhaul of the company's products, beginning with changes to the algorithms that control the News Feed, would help to address those concerns.

In surveys of Facebook users, people said they felt the site had shifted too far away from friends and family-related content, especially amid a swell of outside posts from brands, publishers and media companies.

With more than 2 billion monthly users, Facebook is the world's largest social media network.

"As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media".


With social media under pressure for allowing the alleged Russian meddling, Facebook announced a new project to combat such efforts in November 2017.

The head of Facebook's News Feed, Adam Mosseri, wrote in December on Twitter that the company was ready to "focus on how we can make Facebook more about interacting with people and less about spending time".

Zuckerberg repeated that sentiment in his post Thursday. He teased the upcoming change by saying one of the goals is "making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent".

The company says people will likely spend less time on Facebook as a result.

If the a year ago has shown anything, however, it's that seemingly banal product decisions can yield tremendous unforeseen consequences.

The changes raise questions of whether people may end up seeing more content that reinforces their own ideologies if they end up frequently interacting with posts and videos that reflect the similar views of their friends or family. And publishers, what are you going to do now?

"Just because a tool can be used for good and bad, that doesn't make the tool bad.it just means you need to understand what the negative is so that you can mitigate it", he said. And news can help start conversations on important issues. The Wall Street Journal also reports (paywall) that news outlets' status in public polling and readers' willingness to pay for subscriptions may be considerations for favoring that content, although the company did not confirm this. Items in the feed are ranked by an algorithm that takes into account factors like how recent the post is, likes, comments, clickbait and more.

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