Facebook has announced that it will be making major changes to the way stories show up in users’ newsfeeds, with an added focus on delivering “meaningful interactions between people.” Users can expect to see more posts from friends and family and fewer posts from businesses, brands and media, the company said.
“The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post. “We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.”
Zuckerberg made it his New Year’s resolution this year to “fix” Facebook. That includes, as Zuckerberg calls it, making sure logging onto Facebook is “time well spent” for users.
The company points out that because there is more public content than posts from family and friends, the focus of the “news feed” feature in Facebook has shifted away from helping users connect with each other. The revision will also set up new priorities for Facebook’s product teams. The goal will now be, rather than helping users find relevant content, helping deliver more meaningful social interaction.
Facebook’s algorithm – the complex formula the company uses to decide what content to show to which users – will now prioritize posts from friends and family that “spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.”