What’s behind Facebook’s news feed revamp: Is it a loss or a gain?
On Thursday night in a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would change its algorithm. This change will soon see people’s news feed to be more focused on friends and family, rather than posts from businesses and media companies.
By end of Friday, Facebook shares were trading at $179.37, down more than 4.4 percent from Thursday’s price of $187.77.
“The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family, and groups. As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. The public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people,” wrote Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook.
So why the change? It does look like Facebook is on a losing end, however, could there be a possible positive outcome to this?
Zuckerberg stated that Facebook has studied academic research and concluded that social media is only good for users’ wellbeing if they use it to “connect with people we care about”.
As a result, Facebook intends to promote the sorts of posts that encourage those interactions, while demoting those its data shows encourage only surface interactions – likes and shares but little else.
“I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” he said in his post about the changes.
“But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.”
The change will bring Facebook other benefits. By diminishing the influence of news media, it may be able to avoid a repeat of the bad press it received during the 2016 US election when it became a breeding ground for “fake news”, helping spread stories that misled millions.