RIP Facebook News Feed for Publishers


Although Zuckerberg said the changes will take time to roll out, users will start noticing they see fewer posts from publishers and businesses and more content from their friends and family.

The company will elevate posts that ignite conversations and meaningful interactions between friends while demoting the many videos, news stories and business posts that users consume passively -without commenting and sharing.

One of the big criticisms of Facebook in the past 18 months is that the content we see in the newsfeed is driven too much by Facebook's obsession with persuading people to spend as much time as possible on Facebook. Last year, lawmakers berated Facebook, Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Twitter Inc. for failing to prevent Russian manipulation on their platforms during the 2016 US presidential election. The move is widely expected to hurt publishers that rely on traffic from Facebook.

"We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren't just fun to use, but also good for people's well-being", Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page. "And we want and need that to be a good experience for publishers as well".

Zuckerberg said an overhaul of the company's products, beginning with changes to the algorithms that control the News Feed, would help to address those concerns. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos -even if they're entertaining or informative - may not be as good.

After a public debate in Germany, a new law on social media came into effect in October.

Another wave of criticism pummeling Facebook: that the company's products exploit vulnerabilities in human psychology to hook people on social media, hijacking their time and attention and undermining their well-being. The changes are part of Facebook's redesign to increase "meaningful interactions" and reduce "passive consumption of low-quality content-even if it decreases some of our engagement metrics in the short term". With this tweak in place, I personally feel that the business owners will also be able to achieve a better "quality" of engagement.

These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that users might want to share and react to - whether that is 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. But Thursday's shift goes beyond previous changes by prioritising posts that spur substantive interactions between people.

While the move was anticipated, Thursday's announcement filled in more of the details.

It's a point Zuckerberg acknowledged in his post, writing that "video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years". Recently a blog post titled "Is Spending Time on Social Media Bad for Us" sparked some debates.

Zuckerberg added that his way of running Facebook has shifted since the birth of his two daughters, Maxima and August, in recent years. "By focusing on bringing people closer together - whether it's with family and friends or around important moments in the world - we can help make sure that Facebook is time well spent", he wrote.