Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Industry | By Johnnie Johnson

Facebook overhauls News Feed to focus on what friends and family share

Facebook overhauls News Feed to focus on what friends and family share

The company says this is all part of Facebook's Journalism Project initiative, which Facebook launched shortly after last year's USA presidential election in which so-called fake news spread on the service, leading many to point to Facebook as part of the reason for Donald Trump's surprising victory.

Facebook Inc on Thursday began to change the way it filters posts and videos on its centerpiece News Feed, the start of what Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said would be a series of changes in the design of the world's largest social network.

Under its new approach, Facebook would evaluate parameters such as public polling about news outlets, and whether readers are willing to pay for news from particular publishers.

In the wake of criticism about how its news feed can be manipulated and is having a negative effect on users, Facebook is making some big changes to its flagship feature.

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By prioritizing content that sparks conversations, Facebook could risk promoting more polarizing and opinionated posts that generate lots of comments, only adding to the filter bubble.

Facebook has been known to make changes to News Feed that at first cause discord with its user base.

"People have told us that they dislike spammy posts on Facebook that goad them into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions". There is some consternation among publishers that this strategy could lead to a significant reduction in traffic referred from Facebook over time.

Facebook is using machine-learning software to surface content in this new section. This required Facebook to "refocus the system", he said. Not only do they allow lower quality advertising, they also allow shady characters to not only house their operations on Facebook but they allow them to buy ads, which are then placed in the newsfeed.

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The Facebook CEO announced the changes on the social network on Thursday evening, and it sounded like a warning for publishers and media partners that rely on the platform to reach audiences. "And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard - it should encourage meaningful interactions between people". She wrote: It may be that millions of people see certain news posts.

"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 added that his way of running Facebook has shifted since the birth of his two daughters, Maxima and August, in recent years. Publishers anxious they would have to pay to have their posts end up in the News Feed, where most users would spend their time, and thus where there is more potential for ad-revenue-generating traffic.

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