- Facebook plans to change how its News Feed works, playing up status updates from friends and family.
- On the flip side, it will de-emphasize news articles and anything published by brands.
- Facebook is trying to foster “meaningful interaction” and make Facebook more of a force for good, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday.
- Facebook is coming off of a tough year in which it had to battle fake news and reports that Russian-linked groups attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election with ads on its service.
In the wake of criticism about how its News Feed can be manipulated, Facebook is making some big changes to its flagship feature.
The company says it plans to give more prominence to status updates and photos shared by users’ friends and family members while playing down news articles or anything published by brands.
“We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post Thursday on his Facebook page.
It’s unclear what this will mean for brands and publishers who have grown reliant on Facebook for distribution. But it will affect all ~2 billion users’ feeds.
"As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media," Zuckerberg said in his note. "And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard -- it should encourage meaningful interactions between people."
The New York Times reported on the changes earlier Thursday; Facebook confirmed them in Zuckerberg's post and in a blog post titled "Bringing People Closer Together" by Adam Mosseri, who heads the company's News Feed.
Facebook's revamping of its News Feed is intended to ensure more "meaningful interaction" on the social network, Zuckerberg said in his post. The company wants to encourage users to have more conversations with people they know rather than passively consume articles or videos.
The news comes a week after Zuckerberg announced that his New Year's resolution for 2018 would be to focus on systemic issues with Facebook including abuse and hacking.
"The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do - whether it's protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post announcing his resolution.
The social-networking giant is coming off a rough 2017 amid revelations of fake news and divisive ads placed by Russian-linked actors before the 2016 presidential election.
Read Zuckerberg's full post below: