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13 January 2018, 11:06 | Cameron Gross
BBC Minute: On Facebook's News Feed
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been doing a bit of soul-searching about the negative effects his company may be having on society and its users' psyches.
Tweaking users' feeds may cause the social media platform to lose some of its luster for content producers or media companies, especially video makers that can not make money on Facebook regardless of how many of their videos go viral, said Cho Sodam, founder of Dotface, a youth-oriented media startup based in Seoul, South Korea.
We understand where Facebook is coming from.
News, brand and video content has "exploded" in recent years, "crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other", Zuck wrote.
Facebook is changing what its users will see to highlight posts they are most likely to engage with and make time spent on social media more "meaningful".
The company has kept revenue growing by consistently selling more advertising in its news feed, striking partnerships with media companies to distribute their stories, and including more video postings, which draw higher ad rates.
"They're definitely going to be required to buy an ad", Schiffer said.
There have also been complaints that the news feed - a stream of messages, photographs and videos - increasingly features posts from companies rather than friends.
In general, the primary theme Zuckerberg pushed on Friday is that the news feed is going to be more "meaningful".
"Facebook is making the service more social and less media, and that's likely a positive for the vast majority of users", Weiser said.
But over the years, Facebook has changed the game - on you and us - by jiggering the algorithm it uses to serve you content on your Facebook feed, favoring content that keeps you inside their app longer, whether it's fake or real or whatever. As the company tries to return to its friends-and-family roots, news outlets like BuzzFeed, CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times will be watching closely.
There are many tight-knit communities around TV shows and sports teams.
"We think people interaction is more important than passively consuming content", Hegeman said. But when Facebook is used to deepen friendships that have already been struck and to forge new relationships, the social network helps people feel less alone.
Facebook's announcement Thursday that it would deprioritize articles and videos may not have come as a surprise to most publishers, but it will nearly certainly put a scare into them, even if it is not yet clear what the effect will be.
Over the next few months, with the implementation of a revised strategy, Facebook's 2 billion users will see less content produced by news organizations and more from their friends, if all goes according to the company's plan. He wrote that these posts should inspire back-and-forth conversation and gave examples such as "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".
"This will be one of the more important updates that we have made".
Numerous meaningful interactions taking place beneath Zuckerberg's post asked that more power be given to the user to decide what shows up in their feed, or to give users the option to only see the most recent posts. But no, that isn't happening in this update. And Facebook says its own research shows that users are exposed to more divergent views on its platform than they would be otherwise.
One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.
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