Facebook updates News Feed to make friends a priority

Facebook testing local news section on its platform

Facebook testing local news section on its platform

Facebook plans to change how its news feed works, playing up status updates from friends and family. I'm not going to use this article to complain about my own current issues with Facebook, although they are of great importance to me, I'd rather use this space to talk about what today's announce means from the Grand Master of Facebook himself, Mark Zuckererberg.

In a blog post that accompanied Zuckerberg's message, Facebook head of News Feed Adam Mosseri warned that public Facebook Pages could see their reach, watch time and referral traffic decrease. And many publishers have already noticed a decrease in organic Facebook traffic over the previous year or so. The company hasn't decided whether to proceed with the shift, and it may choose not to do so.

Facebook is again changing the news feed, and if you rely on Facebook to show you news or stories from publications and websites that you like-such as this one!-you may be affected.

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It explained that the impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content produced and how people interact with it. Facebook, he said, had closely studied what kinds of posts had stressed or harmed users. "And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard - it should encourage meaningful interactions between people", Mark Zuckerberg wrote.

All of this plays into the company's broader efforts to cleanse the service of false information; hand-selecting local publishers to appear inside this new section of the app should (theoretically) help keep fake news to a minimum.

In an interview with New York Times, Zuckerberg further emphasised his desire to make social media meaningful, not just fun, and something that's "good for people".

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"This big wave of public content has really made us reflect: What are we really here to do?"

Zuckerberg also noted that overall time spent on Facebook will likely decrease as a result of this change.

Zuckerberg rationalized that the changes will ultimately make for a better Facebook experience, naturally, but might actually cause people to spend less time on the social network.

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Facebook constantly tweaks its computer algorithms to maintain interest in its news feed, the company's main attention-getter. Facebook's algorithmic methods for pushing content have come under fire recently, so it's notable that the company is employing some human curators here.

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