Following years of hiring editors and investing in content specifically for the social-media company's mighty news feed, Facebook's chief executive announced sweeping changes that will redirect the site's 2 billion-plus users more toward posts from friends and family and away from business and media content. It says it wants your time to be well-spent and meaningful while you use the social network.
"We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us", he said.
This will be done by focusing on the content produced by friends and family and not the viral posts. Facebook will show less public content and more posts from friends and family. Now Facebook wants you to think about making sure your post is extra meaningful, and what the meaning of meaningful might mean to you, but most importantly what it means to Mark Zuckerberg's algorithm.
The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being.
"I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down", the Zuck-master opined. "But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable". But my news feed was crowded with sponsored posts.
The markets, though, appear to have reacted badly to the news feed change, at least in the short term. "We are doing a ton of work to reduce the frequency of bad content on Facebook", Hegeman said. For those who have been passively watching 90-second videos with the sound off, this is the cue for them to start looking for them on other platforms. The move could be in the detriment of various businesses and news organizations that rely on the social network to increase the visibility of their content, but it should improve users' experience overall.
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The outlets themselves, however, say the best way to secure loyal readers is to produce content that will keep them coming back for more. While publishers' and businesses' organic reach will decline with the algorithm update, that means the content users do see from businesses (organic or paid) could have a much bigger impact.
Based on this, we're making a major change to how we build Facebook.
A large part of brands and media companies' strategies is to post articles and videos from their pages to engage consumers - items that aren't considered "meaningful interactions" between people.
There are many tight-knit communities around TV shows and sports teams. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook - in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.
Zuckerberg, however, sees the change as a readjustment toward what Facebook was meant to do all along: connect people.
A USA Today/Suffolk University poll published in October found that Americans believed by a two-to-one margin that Facebook should have done more to identify and reveal the Russian ads.