18 Jan'18

Updates to Facebook’s News Feeds prioritises the user experience over publishers

 

Facebook have announced a change to the News Feed that aims to bring people closer together.

 

The update will prioritise posts that ‘spark conversation and meaningful interactions between people.’

 

Facebook will predict the posts that that you may want to interact with your friends about and show these posts higher in your feed.
The change will mean that posts from friends and family will be ranked higher than public content from publishers and businesses. As a result, pages may see a decrease in their posts’ reach, video watch time and referral traffic. Pages that do not publish content that generate much reaction will see a larger decline than those that prompt conversation between users.

 

In their press release, Facebook list the posts that usually generate conversation: live videos, posts by celebrities, local business amongst their community and news about important issues.

 

In the press release, Facebook make a point of differentiating this update to the recently tested ‘Explore Tab’. In October of last year, the.report published a feature on the tested Explore Tab and publishers’ concern of their content being buried.

 

In response to the opposition to the Explore Feed, Facebook stated that there ‘is no current plan to roll this out beyond the test countries’. However, is this update just a stepping stone to reducing publisher content on users’ main News Feed.

 

WIRED suggest that the update ‘comes down to one key factor: people don’t like using Facebook anymore.’

 

This is supported by Mark Zuckerberg from his Facebook post (if not their unique user numbers). Zuckerberg wrote that from recent feedback they have learnt that ‘public content – posts from businesses, brands and media – is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect with each other.’