Code Bytes: Today, most people’s news feeds are dominated by professionally made content from brands, businesses and the news media. Zuckerberg says Facebook wants to change that balance, so your feed will instead be dominated by posts from friends and family, as well as Facebook groups you are a member of.
Facebook on Friday announced yet another change to its News Feed, the home screen that takes the most space on the social networking platform.
Since its debut in 2006, Facebook’s News Feed has undergone various changes before it evolved to become a fiercely competitive space for brands looking for your attention. The latest update, however, reimagines Facebook’s approach to News Feed with a greater emphasis on posts that “spark conversations and meaningful interactions” between users.As Facebook gears up for the big overhaul, it’s probably good time to re-visit the biggest changes to News Feed over the years.
Today, most people’s news feeds are dominated by professionally made content from brands, businesses and the news media. Zuckerberg says Facebook wants to change that balance, so your feed will instead be dominated by posts from friends and family, as well as Facebook groups you are a member of.
The change is not yet in effect, so it is hard to know how different this approach will be. At its most extreme, it could be similar to the “experiment” Facebook ran in six smaller countries, where it removed wholesale any post from professional publishers and put them in a second feed, the “explore” feed.But if Facebook wants to take a light-touch approach, the effect could be more like other tweaks to the news feed algorithm, which subtly alter the balance of content, changing the types of posts which have the most success but not removing them entirely.
As part of the company’s new strategy to increase engagement on its platform, Facebook is now going to give more weightage to posts that “spark conversations and meaningful interactions” between users. Facebook also says posts shared by friends and families will get more prominence – one of the most sought-after features on the social networking platform.
“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,” said Facebook in a blog post.
Facebook has received many complaints from users about the amount of spam-related posts that incentivize or promote engagement through their posts. For example, asking users to vote using reactions or comment, tag, share, or otherwise engage with the post. Pages and businesses who use these “engagement bait” tactics can expect to see a significant drop in their reach. Facebook made it clear that posts that are authentic, such as asking for advice, promoting awareness of a missing child, or raising money for a good cause, will not be affected by this update.
Some publishers and civil society groups have reacted with alarm. In Guatemala, one of the countries where the explore feed experiment took place, some journalists reported readership halving overnight as a result of them disappearing from most social media feeds. A similar change worldwide would wreak havoc on the media ecosystem, as well as the ability of activists and campaigners to have a voice with the wider public.
But the pain will not be shared equally. Past experience suggests the organisations that will be most damaged will be those who rely most on Facebook to generate traffic; organisations with a dedicated base and control of their own platforms will find it easier to ride out the change.
Source : The Guardian