Facebook made some updates to its News Feed that would change how two billion users see posts, videos, and photos. Mark Zuckerberg said that the changes prioritize posts that their family and friends shared and commented on. In other words, they de-emphasize content from the brands and publishers they liked.
The update is a significant overhaul of News Feed. With the latest changes, you’ll see few viral videos and news articles provided by media companies. Instead, the social media site will give you posts that your family and friends have interacted with. In that case, you’ll see more photos of your friends’ dogs or cats or the status update that your friends have liked, regardless of how funny, interesting they are.
Mark said that the changes would maximize the content that users would want to consume on his social media. The company studied the kind of posts that stressed or harmed users, and it wanted to reduce them. These posts are called as passive content. They consist of videos and articles that don’t encourage interaction. By cutting them, Facebook is hoping that its users’ time on the site is well spent.
“With this update, we will also prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people. To do this, we will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed. These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to – whether that’s a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion.” – Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed
In other words, Facebook wants its products to be fun and useful for its users. For that reason, it is refocusing its system.
But the changes raised questions about whether or not people would see more content that bolsters their ideologies because they frequently interact with posts that reflect the same views as their friends and family.
Furthermore, the changes won’t stop the spread of bogus news. If your friend posts inaccurate news with several comments, that story will be displayed prominently.
The company has been criticized for what it’s showing to its users as some of the content can negatively affect millions of users. It has also been questioned about how its algorithms might have prioritized inaccurate news in News Feeds, thereby, influencing the recent American presidential election.
These issues caused Facebook to discuss with lawmakers. The company has been grilled about its influence. Furthermore, it’ll have another hearing on Capitol Hill, along with other social media companies, like Twitter and YouTube, to discuss the online spread of extremist propaganda.
Will the change hurt publishers?
It will most likely affect them negatively. Their posts would be de-emphasized, thereby, affecting their goals. And with less viral types of content, people would spend their time elsewhere.
But it’s what Facebook expects. It wants people to feel better each time they use the social network. If that’ll benefit the users, it’ll also help its business ultimately.