3 things you need to know about recent changes to Facebook's News Feed
2018 may have just begun, but Facebook is already planning to roll out some major changes.
Less than two weeks after founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg vowed to crackdown on abuse and cyberbullying, the social media giant announced plans to transform users’ experience on the platform.
“We're making a major change to how we build Facebook,” Zuckerberg said, in a post on his Facebook account last Saturday. “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.”
And it plans to do that by cutting back on the amount of content a user see from brands, businesses and media outlets. In its place, Facebook plans to promote “meaningful posts” from family and friends. The goal is to increase interaction between users and their Facebook friends, and to minimize “passive experiences” on the platform.
“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That's why we've always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness,” Zuckerberg said.
We’re sure plenty of users will be happy with this update -- but we’re uncertain how brands, businesses and media companies will feel about it.
Regardless of your feelings towards Facebook’s goal of promoting “meaningful posts”, we’re anticipating even more updates in the coming months. But for now, here are three changes you can expect to see in your Facebook feed in the near future…
1. More Posts From Family and Friends (That You'll Want To Interact With)
Zuckerberg has made it clear that the main goal of promoting "meaningful posts” is to encourage users to interact with their family and friends. This is one of the first changes Facebook is implementing, in its overall product revamp.
"The first changes you'll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups," he said.
Facebook claims that using social media to connect with other individuals can be good for a user’s well-being. Therefore, it’s working to encourage this by increasing the amount of posts users’ see in their feed from their family and friends.
2. Fewer Engagement Bait Posts and Clickbait
"People have told us that they dislike spammy posts on Facebook that goad them into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions." Facebook representatives said, in a recent press release. "This tactic, known as 'engagement bait,' seeks to take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach . . . We will begin demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait."
Therefore, users can expect to see a significant fewer clickbait-style posts within their News Feeds very soon.
3. A Crackdown on Media and "News"-related Content
Get ready to see fewer posts from the Daily Mail in your News Feed.
Facebook doesn’t consider posts by media outlets to be “meaningful post” and wants to minimize the amount of media users come across in their feeds.
Media outlets are big users of Facebook (and their post typically receive high rates of engagement), so it will be interesting to see how they react to the platforms new changes.
We also suspect this is Facebook’s way of preventing content created by media outlets from going viral, and minimizing the amount of “fake news” on the platform.
What are your thoughts on Facebook's new changes? Let us know in the comments below...