On Thursday, Facebook announced that it would begin prioritizing what users see in their News Feeds based on content shared by their friends and family, rather than by news sources and companies.
In a statement posted to his Facebook page, founder Mark Zuckerberg said the company’s goal for the new year is to make sure users are seeing more positive posts that add to their well-being.
“Recently we've gotten feedback from our community that public content—posts from businesses, brands and media—is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other,” he said. “Too often today, watching video, reading news or getting a page update is just a passive experience.”
As a result, Facebook will begin updating their algorithm that chooses what content a user sees. Here are four things you need to know about this latest update:
1. You won’t see as many viral videos and news articles.
Facebook is beginning to limit how much content you see on your feed from businesses, brands, and products. Instead, the algorithm will show you more posts from your family and friends—an update Zuckerberg says will “encourage meaningful interactions between people.” As a result, posts that specifically ask for shares or likes won’t be as prominent.
2. There will be more focus on personal posts.
According to Zuckerberg, you’ll be subject to posts that your friends have interacted with—meaning posts they’ve liked, commented on, or shared—in hopes that they are also of interest to you.
3. Facebook is well aware that there could be some negative implications.
Because the new update will filter out “passive content” like videos and articles that don’t require a user to be actively engaged, some businesses might have to change their content strategies to ensure their posts still make it into their audience’s feed. Zuckerberg said he is also aware that these changes could impact the amount of time people spend on the site going forward, but he knows that this change is a step in the right direction because it fosters “valuable” time.
4. The change has already started, so expect to see different posts in your feed soon.
Zuckerberg said that while the update will take months to reach all corners of Facebook’s products, the company has already started making changes, so expect to see a different mix of posts in your news feed soon.
“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That's why we've always put friends and family at the core of the experience,” Zuckerberg said. “Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.”
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