Health Care

Facebook to overhaul news feed to promote 'meaningful' posts

Facebook to overhaul news feed to promote 'meaningful' posts”

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.

Facebook's 2 billion users, as of Thursday, now see status updates from friends and family more frequently than posts containing news stories, or posts from brands.

"Video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years", he said.

The changes come as the company has faced increased criticism for the way its algorithms have allowed the spread of targeted disinformation aimed at disrupting USA elections, as well as more general criticisms that over-use of social media can contribute to depression.

"We've gotten feedback from our community that public content - posts from businesses, brands and media - is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other", Facebook CEO Mark wrote.

Zuckerberg, however, sees the change as a readjustment toward what Facebook was meant to do all along: connect people.

However, he added: "The biggest victor out of this are users wishing to connect with friends and family".

"There is really no silver bullet here to determine what is most meaningful, but we are trying to mine the signals to get the best representation that we can", Hegeman said.

"The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being", he said. "We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. These changes are aimed to improve Facebook for exactly this objective".

He cited academic research indicating that interacting with loved ones is crucial to a person's wellbeing, while reading news articles or watching shared videos may not be.

Zuckerberg said that his company was changing its goal from focusing on helping its users find relevant content to helping them have more meaningful social interactions.

For example, there are many tight-knit communities around TV shows and sports teams.

"Pages making posts that people generally don't react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution".

"By making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down", he said.

"Some news helps start conversations on important issues".

There will be fewer videos, which Facebook considers "passive".

Mr Zuckerberg, who last week said his "personal challenge" for 2018 was to fix Facebook, said people may spend less time on the social network as a result of the changes. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.

Facebook's chief product officer Chris Cox justified the move at that time saying the company played "an increasingly important role in how people discover the news that they read every day, we feel a responsibility to work with publishers to come up with as good an experience as we can for consumers".



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