Facebook has been making some important changes to the News Feed to prioritize the kind of posts, videos and photos its two billion users often see. The social media giant has announced that it will now prioritize content shared by family and friends, while giving less prominence to content shared by brands and publishers. This means, users will be seeing less news articles and viral videos shared by media companies.
On a quarterly call with investors, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “It’s important to remember that Facebook is about bringing people closer together and enabling meaningful social interactions.” According to research, interaction with family and friends on social media is ‘meaningful’ he said. Zuckerberg further added saying, the aim of starting Facebook was to “encourage meaningful social interactions” leading to help “build meaningful relationships”.
In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg mentioned that users have given feedback that public content – posts from media, brands and businesses, are cluttering their personal moments. With the tweaked news feed, Facebook wants to encourage people to interact more with content they actually want to see. The idea here is that you would most likely discuss or comment on a post shared by your family or friends, rather than the one shared by a business you follow.
“By making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” Zuckerberg wrote. Sure, it is surprising to see that Facebook expects people will spend less time using the service. But he further added saying that he expects the time spent on Facebook “will be more valuable”.
That’s not all, Facebook is also testing ‘Today In’ news feed to show local news and events based on user location. The company also added a new feature to ‘Stories’ on its Facebook app which will allow users to tag people in their stories.