Are we heading to a new era where friends and family take precedence over publisher’s posts in Facebook’s News Feed? That’s precisely what the Menlo Park, Calif.-based social network giant wants every user to know—that it cares about you.
Concerns have been forthcoming about how Facebook users no longer see important updates from friends and family they care about. In fairness to users, it is getting even more difficult to see important updates from people they care about—and instead there has been a growing sea of posts from advertisers and brands.
On Wednesday, Facebook issued a statement promising a change in how posts show up on its News Feed. “We’ve heard from our community that people are still worried about missing important updates from the friends they care about.” While the company reiterated its commitment to holding on to its core value of getting people connected; it did admit there was a need to change the way things work at the moment.
“Facebook was built on the idea of connecting people with their friends and family. As we say in our News Feed values, that is still the driving principle of News Feed today. Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook. That’s why today, we’re announcing an upcoming change to News Feed ranking to help make sure you don’t miss stories from your friends.”
Facebook believes in getting and keeping people connected, and that requires some minor, but significant tweaking of its algorithm. The tweaking will affect the News Feed where important updates from people you love and care about will always take priority over other posts.
Of course, the new changes will affect some “Pages” owned by businesses, public figures, organizations and publishers—but Facebook has a word on that. The company said if most a page’s traffic is determined by users sharing page’s content, there is bound to be a dip compared to those whose views come straight from page posts. To this end, the company is encouraging Pages to post stories their audience would “like to share with their friends.”
In fairness to Facebook, the company has a mammoth task on its hand where it tries to deal with the incredible amount of Pages that join its network every day. The competition for space is incredibly high—leading to a decline in reach for some content in particular. This has led to agitation and cry of bias being leveled against the company—with claims that the company picks some stories ahead of others to earn more revenues.
The next couple of months will reveal just how successful these new tweaks will be; though Facebook adds that it is a work in progress. “We are always working to improve News Feed so people see the most relevant stories to them, and will continue to make ranking updates and share them here on our News Feed FYI blog.”
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