Facebook CEO unveils news feed changes, says engagement may fall

12 January, 2018, 06:13 | Author: Sergio Cook
  • Facebook Inc (FB) Gets Deeper Into Local News, Events With New

In an attempt to bring Facebook back to its roots, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the social media network's News Feed will undergo a major overhaul this year.

Zuckerberg, in a sweeping post on Facebook, said the company would change the filter for the News Feed to prioritize what friends and family share, while reducing the amount of non-advertising content from publishers and brands.

Going "Local" spells out the theme for Facebook over the last 18 months as it started providing more posts from local politicians and is also expanding Marketplace, its Craigslist-style platform that is used by people for sale of products to their neighbors. But, he says, "if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term, too". Many publishers shifted their digital strategies to stay in good favor with Facebook's algorithm, moving into live video when Facebook said it wanted more of that content and experimenting with Instant Articles when those fast-loading articles were introduced as a salve for slow webpages outside the social network.

Facebook is using machine-learning software to surface content in this new section.

Now, it seems those publishers are nearly as out of luck as the phony publishers Facebook has tried to scrub from the News Feed.

The social media giant is also planning changes in how it handles video - giving priority to those that users engage with and playing down those that generate views by automatically playing when seen in a person's feed.

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Facebook and other researchers have particularly homed in on passive content.

He acknowledged that many of Facebook's more than 2 billion monthly active users had expressed frustration over the amount of third-party content they were seeing as they scrolled through their feeds.

He added that Facebook had begun making changes in this direction past year. A big part of that effort would be "making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent", he said.

Facebook's news partnership team will check the relevance of the news that goes on the feed. It's not clear how Facebook's latest change will affect those of you who've chosen that option, but it's worth a try.

"Facebook is in the midst of all of these fires it's trying to put out, it's trying to reassert its warm and fuzzy brand value that it has always tried to put forth", he told the BBC.



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