Facebook overhauls news feed to focus on friends and family

Facebook's new feature'Today In to provide feeds on local events announcements news

The changes raise questions of whether people may end up seeing more content that reinforces their own ideologies if they end up frequently interacting with posts and videos that reflect the similar views of their friends or family.

The Facebook CEO announced major changes to news feeds in a post Thursday, saying they have received feedback that "public content-posts from businesses, brands, and media-is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other".

This sparked a change in the goal of Facebook's product teams - helping users to have more meaningful social interactions. He recently told investors he wants Facebook to encourage "meaningful social interactions" and downplayed the importance of how much time people spend there.

"One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent". Facebook, he said, had closely studied what kinds of posts had stressed or harmed users. The deal then seemed very attractive for smaller publishers in particular - as many were already dependent completely on Facebook for their audiences.

"We think that we're now slightly overvaluing how much time people spend on our platform and undervaluing how many meaningful interactions they have with other people", said Mosseri, who oversees News Feed. "And we want and need that to be a good experience for publishers as well".

In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg said the change was informed by research that shows the "well-being" of users is better served by connecting with friends and family than by "passively reading articles or watching videos".

The 33-year-old chief executive said that the move, which will badly affect many publishers and could hit Facebook's own bottom line, was meant to renew the social network's focus on bringing people together after users complained that commercial posts were crowding out personal moments. The legislation imposes heavy fines on social media companies, such as Facebook, for failing to take down posts containing hate speech. Over the next few weeks, users will begin seeing fewer viral videos and news articles shared by media companies. 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".

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

It's no secret that Facebook is unhappy with how the News Feed works.

The billionaire tech mogul blames the explosion of "video and other public content". In this way content from businesses, brands and media will be filtered and will be given last priority.

In a lengthy post on Facebook, Zuckerberg wrote: "We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us".

"It's important to me that when Max and August grow up that they feel like what their father built was good for the world", Zuckerberg said.

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