Facebook is changing in a major way — here’s how your News Feed will definitely be affected
For those of us fed up with the constant stream of ads on Facebook, there’s good news. The company plans to alter its algorithm so your Facebook News Feed will display more posts from family and friends — rather than brands and businesses. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the shift in a January 11th post.
"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," Zuckerberg wrote in his Facebook post. "As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people."
In a Facebook newsroom post, the company stated that it will now predict which posts users will want to interact with based on their previous likes, comments, and shares. These posts will then appear higher in a user’s News Feed. The hope is to spur conversation and debate about subjects important to the Facebook user rather than empty interactions with brands and publishers.
As QZ.com pointed out, this algorithm shift is a giant leap away from Facebook’s former algorithm, which focused on prioritizing user engagement. This former setup spiked Facebook’s yearly earnings, but it also drew public backlash during the campaign when “fake news” reportedly ran rampant on the social media site.
Clickbait articles, “engagement-bait” (telling people to “like” something if they fall into a certain group), and false news reports will be frowned upon and demoted within your Facebook News Feed.
"Now, I want to be clear: by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down," Zuckerberg continued. "But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too."
As Zuckerberg stated, Facebook was created to form and keep personal connections. By weeding out the content that doesn’t inspire person-to-person interaction, Facebook hopes to get back to its roots and help users have a meaningful experience while using the site.