JAN 15, 2018 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recently announced changes to the company’s news feed have the potential to dramatically affect […]
JAN 15, 2018
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recently announced changes to the company’s news feed have the potential to dramatically affect how people interact on the social network.
Over the next few weeks, Facebook’s news feed will start showing fewer news articles, and less marketing content and ads, Zuckerberg wrote on Thursday.
“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,” he wrote.
It’s a major change for Facebook, which over the years has shifted from being a social networking service connecting friends and family to one of the world’s biggest distributors of news and online ads.
He said the change should make everyonee feel better: “The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health.”
With fewer posts from businesses, brands, and media, expect to see more of what your “friends” are sharing and liking.
A breakdown of the “closer together” initiative indicates news stories will get de-prioritized, while conversations that Facebook thinks will spark a lot of engagement will get a boost.
To achieve a happier Facebook user base, it looks like Facebook will focus on comment-heavy posts — and not just quick comments like, “Oh no!” or “Thanks!” but lengthy (meaningful!) comments.
All those “likes” won’t mean as much as full-on engagement, which under the new rules seems to mean back-and-forth conversations. Sounds like posting links back and forth won’t count as much in the meaningfulness meter.
In other words, publishers will almost certainly see traffic drop and video views decrease.
Zuckerberg rationalized that the changes will ultimately make for a better Facebook experience, naturally, but might actually cause people to spend less time on the social network.
“I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable,” he wrote.
The changes are also a blow to brands and media companies that publish on Facebook. Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s head of news feed, said these public pages can expect to see their reach, video watch times and referral traffic decrease.
“Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect,” he wrote in a blog post.
“By focusing on bringing people closer together — whether it’s with family and friends, or around important moments in the world — we can help make sure that Facebook is time well spent,” Zuckerberg said.