“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,” wrote Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook. It looks like Facebook has planned some major changes for its News Feed this year. With a new algorithm, the company hopes to promote meaningful discussions on the platform.
The new News Feed will prioritise friends and posts that are passively consumed and generate discussions over them. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post, “We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being.” About the new change, he writes, "You'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and the media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard - it should encourage meaningful interactions between people."
With this change, Facebook aims give its users a prime spot. Zuckerberg goes on to write, "By making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable." He also stated that the company started making changes in this direction last year.
Adam Mosseri, whose title is head of News Feed, said in a blog post, "We will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in the feed. These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to — whether that’s a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion.”
On the downside, this change is bound to affect publishers who have invested in pre-recorded social videos. Until now, Facebook has tuned the News Feed to favor video in the feed over other types of content. For those who have been passively watching 90-second videos with the sound off, this is the cue for them to start looking for them on other platforms.