Facebook announces changes to News Feed to ensure users' time is well-spent

Credit Brian Solis

Zuckerberg admitted that by making these changes, he anticipates that the time that people spend on Facebook will go down.

Facebook announced a change to its News Feed algorithm that will keep posts from news publishers and brands out of your feed.

Other publishers like Bloomberg have made a decision to get ahead of the algorithm change and create community-driven Facebook groups around certain topics where they can promote their stories and drive traffic back to their sites, according to Digiday.

One of Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg's goals for 2018 is "to make sure time spent on Facebook is time well spent". But too often today, watching video, reading news or getting a page update is just a passive experience.

Zuckerberg said he fully expected some "measures of engagement" to decline as a result of the changes. Such a move would be a welcome development, and Media Matters has recommended that Facebook include it in its algorithm. "But I also expect the time you spend on Facebook will be more valuable". Instead, Facebook's 2 billion users can expect to see more stories and posts from friends, family and other people are likely to have "meaningful" conversations with.

But Facebook gave scant details about how it would define what's "meaningful".

"It's in the same direction that Facebook has been pursuing for a while: offering a place for discussion among individuals, a community space, rather than being a news source", said Oh Se-uk, a senior researcher on digital news at the Korea Press Foundation.

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It prepared for the historic match by tweeting an image featuring a woman's face painted in gold, the club's colour. Construction teams had scrambled to build female toilets and line off a women-only parking lot ahead of the game.

Millions of people are being harassed, unfairly attacked, and maligned on Facebook worldwide.

Facebook has always been criticized for creating "filter bubbles", the echo chambers of friends and like-minded people whose views are reinforced by their friends' posts on the platform. In real life, people don't point at the same news article as their friends and say, "THIS".

That data coincides with Facebook'scrackdown on clickbait, those sensational posts that exclaim, "You won't believe what happens next!" or "See what this Hollywood star looks like now!" By cutting them, Facebook is hoping that its users' time on the site is well spent. "We won't know until we see what happens". But the changes may ultimately prove beneficial for both Facebook's users and its investors.

If Facebook doesn't want a certain conservative or liberal publisher in the feed or decides a certain local news publisher shouldn't be there either, that publisher's social media reach will die, causing it significant economic harm.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg outlined the rationale in a Facebook post, saying content from "businesses, brands and media" had begun to crowd out the more personal moments which he said are at the core of the network.

But Facebook won't be going back to the old linear timeline or anything.

"While numerous folks who run Silicon Valley are extreme libertarians, the people who work there tend to be idealists". But those views, comments or share generated no revenue for Dotface.

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