12 Jan

Facebook plans major changes to the News Feed in 2018

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said we feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being.He also said that the vast increase in posts from publishers, both article links and video, had tilted the News Feed experience to something more passive and less satisfying. The changes announced Thursday are designed to favor posts that spur conversations.

We will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed,” Adam Mosseri, whose title is head of News Feed, said in a blog post. “These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to — whether that’s a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion

The changes have been real, and the share of publisher traffic generated by Facebook has declined over time, according to publishers I’ve spoken with. One way publishers have compensated for the decline has been to invest heavily in making videos — the much-derided “pivot to video” that is a joking obsession of Media Twitter. The reason is that until now, Facebook has tuned the News Feed to favor video in the feed over other types of content.

Zuckerberg said he expects that the changes introduced this year will cause people to spend less time on Facebook. “By making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” he wrote. “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.”

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