On Facebook's News Feed

Joanna Estrada
January 13, 2018

Over time, Facebook will tailor the ads it shows you based on such feedback. And he insists he has a plan. "It may not be good for the business in the short term".

"In an odd way we will look back and think this was a pretty good thing for the news industry", he said. Some of what he saw didn't jive with the world he sees on Facebook.

Nic Newman, a digital media strategist who authors the Reuters Institute Digital Report for Oxford University, said the move is "not unexpected" because "it's been a pretty bad year for Facebook in terms of its PR" - referencing the criticism the company has faced over "fake news" and its increasing dominance, alongside Google, of the online advertising market. In real life, people don't tell others to kill themselves when they say they like pineapple on pizza.

"It wants people who have been friends to become even closer, to have deeper discussions (on Facebook)".

Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.

It's easy to understand how we got here. Facebook is not just a social network; it's a content curator.

Mark Zuckerberg's decision of prioritizing "meaningful social interactions" such as more posts from friends and family as opposed to "relevant content" like posts from work and business has led to a fall of 4% in Facebook shares. Investors are anxious about Facebook's hand in the fall of advertising figures.

"They're definitely going to be required to buy an ad", Schiffer said.

"This update is more about amplifying the things people value". That means a news hound can choose to highlight news articles, for instance. He wrote: "As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media".

"It should encourage meaningful interactions between people", Mr Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg predicts users will spend less time on Facebook as a result of these changes.

Once again, Zuckerberg is pointing towards some sort of return to the old Facebook. And it's like June 2016, when Facebook again said it would push posts from friends higher up in the feed, because "Facebook was built on the idea of connecting people with their friends and family". Zuckerberg's vision for Facebook has always been a platform for giving people a voice and a place to make meaningful connections, though he spent much of a year ago on the defensive. Some news helps start conversations on important issues. So what does that mean for the media companies that have come to depend on the social media giant to drive readers to the articles and videos they create?

What's less clear is how these changes will address Facebook's problem with false information on the site, as many stories that spread are shared by users' friends and family. The company gave you more ways to decide what you want or don't want to see. But no, that isn't happening in this update. Press Association analysis of data from Newswhip found that engagements - a combination of reactions, comments and shares - with content from United Kingdom publishers' sites fell dramatically across 2017.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER