Facebook has announced that it will be overhauling the News Feed to emphasize posts from friends over publishers.
Company CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the upcoming change in a Facebook post.
Zuckerberg says that while friends and family have always been “at the core of the experience” on Facebook, the company has received feedback that “public content” from publishers is appearing much more often that “personal moments.”
The CEO cited the increase in popularity of video and other public content on Facebook as reasons for the shift away from personal content.
Therefore, Zuckerberg says Facebook users will soon start to see “more from your friends, family and groups” and ” less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.”
To do that, Facebook will prioritize posts that “spark conversations and meaningful interactions using algorithms that will predict posts users will want to interact with their friends about and show them higher in the News Feed accordingly.
Facebook admits that these changes will likely negatively impact publishers. “As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease,” wrote Adam Mosseri, head of News Feed, in a blog post. “The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it.”
Mosseri said that Pages with posts that drive user engagement through reacts and comments will see less of an effect.
It’s important to note that Facebook publishers are still discouraged from using ‘engagement bait’ to drive reactions and comments on posts. Facebook considers engagement bait as any content that goads users into interacting with it, such as a post that asks the user to share with 10 friends to win a car.
Facebook users will still be able to prioritize which Pages appear at the top of News Feeds in the ‘See First’ settings.
Zuckerberg says the company “started making changes in this direction last year,” but it “will take months” for them to make their way throughout all of its platforms.