RIP Facebook News Feed for Publishers

Adjust Comment Print

Doing that will require Facebook to "predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed".

The goal of the overhaul, ultimately, is for something less quantifiable that may be hard to achieve: Facebook wants people to feel positive, rather than negative, after visiting.

Facebook is making changes to its News Feed feature that will allow users to see more updates from family and friends than posts from businesses, brands and media, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced. The company has been dogged by questions about how its algorithms may have prioritized misleading news and misinformation in News Feeds, influencing the 2016 US presidential election as well as political discourse in many countries.

Prioritizing family and friends against Publishers and Brands will hurt them as they get most of traffic through Facebook.

The announcement comes amid a broader shift at Facebook.

He cited recent research by Facebook and academics indicating that time spent "passively" on social media was damaging for people's mental health, while interacting proactively with friends was positive.

Now the Facebook CEO is kicking off the effort with a move he says is meant to boost the well-being of users, possibly at the expense of the well-being of publishers and other businesses. With this tweak in place, I personally feel that the business owners will also be able to achieve a better "quality" of engagement. Take, for instance, the Serbian editor of a non-profit investigative journalism organisation who wrote an op-ed in the New York Times decrying the change as detrimental to Serbia's already shaky democracy.

First Time Smokers Have A Higher Risk Of Becoming Addicted, Study Shows
They said that the study, published in the journal Nicotine And Tobacco Research , provides support for reducing cigarette experimentation among teenagers.

That marks a tectonic shift for Facebook's algorithm which has been built to prioritize engagement (and monopolizing users' attention) above nearly all other considerations. The changes are part of Facebook's redesign to increase "meaningful interactions" and reduce "passive consumption of low-quality content-even if it decreases some of our engagement metrics in the short term". More recently, he began signalling that Facebook was rethinking what it shows people on the site.

"We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us", Zuckerberg wrote.

Zuckerberg, the company's 33-year-old co-founder, said that would no longer be the goal.

The News Feed shake-up will also usher in a shift in thinking for Facebook's product teams. "On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos - even if they're entertaining or informative - may not be as good".

CEO said that the platform's News Feed will start prioritizing "meaningful social interactions" versus "relevant content", and that he expects the time people spend on the social network will go down as a result.

In an exclusive video interview with CNN Tech's Laurie Segall, Facebook VP Adam Mosseri described the move as a "rebalancing" of how Facebook's algorithms rank items in the main feed.

Comments