Facebook plans major changes to news feed

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

Facebook plans to change how its news feed works, playing up status updates from friends and family.

The company will now prioritize content from friends, family, and groups over "public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media", CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post Thursday night.

But while there are expected to be many media owners and brands reeling from Facebook's decision, Ogilvy Australia head of digital, Jason Davey, took a positive view of the news, labelling it a win for customer experience and quality.

Doing that will require Facebook to "predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed". Many publishers shifted their digital strategies to stay in good favor with Facebook's algorithm, moving into live video when Facebook said it wanted more of that content and experimenting with Instant Articles when those fast-loading articles were introduced as a salve for slow webpages outside the social network.

"Since there's more open substance than posts from your loved ones, the adjust of what's in News Feed has moved far from the most imperative thing Facebook can do - enable us to associate with each other". Instead, Facebook will highlight posts between friends - for example, a photo of your dog, or a status update that many of your friends have commented on or liked. There is some consternation among publishers that this strategy could lead to a significant reduction in traffic referred from Facebook over time.

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The Journal noted the moves are in line with chief executive Mark Zuckerberg's effort to keep Facebook from taking on editorial responsibilities - and minimize the spread of false information without becoming the "arbiters of truth".

It explained that the impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content produced and how people interact with it.

Known for setting annual personal goals ranging from killing his own food to learning Mandarin, Zuckerberg's stated mission for this year is to "fix" the social network, including by targeting abuse and hate, and making sure visiting Facebook is time well spent. "But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable", he wrote.

Now the Facebook CEO is kicking off the effort with a move he says is meant to boost the well-being of users, possibly at the expense of the well-being of publishers and other businesses.

"This big wave of public content has really made us reflect: What are we really here to do?"

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