In a bid to make social media interactions more meaningful and relevant, Facebook announced its plans to revamp content that appears on a user’s News Feed.
The decision comes after a number of users complained of their News Feed being convoluted with public content, including brand promotions, media posts and so on, that are taking away the essence of one’s personal space.
To this, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg took cognizance of the matter and assured that the company’s product teams have been notified of the increasing amount of ‘spam’ and are working on developing new methods to decrease the amount of public content appearing on the News Feed.
“We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being. Research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos -even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good. Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions,” Zuckerberg said in a blog post.
While changes in this direction were made last year, the new update will be established in the coming months, following which users can access more personal and less public content. This, Mark believes, will promote more meaningful engagement on the platform.
“At its best, Facebook has always been about personal connections. By focusing on bringing people closer together – whether it’s with family and friends or around important moments in the world – we can help make sure that Facebook is time well spent,” he wrote.
With the new update in place, Facebook is expected to bring posts based on one’s preference by predicting posts of this nature based on one’s past interactions. It also aims to prioritize posts from friends and family over public content, consistent with its News Feed values.
A major impact of this update could be on Facebook’s Pages section that may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution, while those whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.
“Live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos. Many creators who post videos on Facebook prompt discussion among their followers, as do posts from celebrities. In Groups, people often interact around public content. Local businesses connect with their communities by posting relevant updates and creating events. And news can help start conversations on important issues. Using “engagement-bait” to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed,” noted Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed.
The social media giant, however, clarified that while Page posts are not being eliminated on the whole, there may be fewer of them appearing on the News Feed.