Particularly for those who were around from the start, usage of Facebook might have waned in recent years. Considering it was originally intended to bring you closer to your friends and family, things are a bit different nowadays. Scroll through your news feed today and you’ll likely find a mixture of memes, recipe videos, and adverts (in my case, anyway, but that will depend on what you like/follow), with just a smattering of posts from people you know IRL. The company’s mission for 2018: put friends and family at the forefront once again.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined this renewed focus in a post on the site yesterday, where he said that feedback from users was at the heart of upcoming changes to the ranking system. Users expressed concerns that content from businesses and media outlets was getting in the way of news that really matters from the people they care about. Facebook, to its credit, is going to take steps to reverse this.
The company’s News Feed Head Adam Mosseri has written a blog post explaining the changes that will be made. This includes prioritizing more personal content by altering the way rankings and predictions bump posts up the feed. This will obviously lead to reduced visibility and traffic for Pages and other public content, but users can still choose to see more of something if they mark it with ‘See First’ in their News Feed preferences.
It’s not just direct posts from friends that will get higher billing in the updated feed, but also content from others that will be more likely to “spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people,” such as live videos. Fear not, though, as so-called “engagement-bait” will continue to be relegated in favor of genuinely meaningful content. The changes will affect Facebook apps for Android and other systems, as well as the desktop site.