Saturday , January 20 2018
Home / News / World / How is your Facebook news feed going to change?

How is your Facebook news feed going to change?

Facebook logos are pictured on the screens of a smartphone (R), and a laptop computer, in central London on November 21, 2016
Image: Facebook has more than two billion monthly users

Facebook is changing the way its news feed works to encourage “more meaningful social interactions” and reduce the amount of content from “businesses, brands and media”.

In a post on the social media site, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said branded content was “crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other”.

Shares of Facebook were down 4%, after he said the shift was likely to mean that the time people spend on the site would go down in the short term.

Mr Zuckerberg said that “video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years” meaning there was “more public content than posts from your friends and family”.

That has shifted the balance “away from the most important thing Facebook can do – help us connect with each other”.

:: Analysis – Why Facebook needs more than a facelift

Mr Zuckerberg said the company had examined academic research on social media. He said it showed that when sites such as Facebook were used to connect with “people we care about”, they can improve well-being.

“We can feel more connected and less lonely,” he said, “and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health.”

In contrast, “passively reading articles or watching videos – even if they’re entertaining or informative – may not be as good”.

:: Sky Views: Facebook’s fake news threatens democracy

Mark Zuckerberg
Image: Mark Zuckerberg admits the changes could reduce the time people spend on Facebook

Branded content will not only be reduced – its content will be “held to the same standard” as posts from friends and family.

“It should encourage meaningful interactions between people,” Mr Zuckerberg said.

There have been serious concerns about the effect social media can have on people’s mental health, particularly children and teenagers.

Last week, the Children’s Commissioner for England called for compulsory digital literacy to be taught in primary schools to help children cope with the pressure of getting likes, comments and views.

Researchers say children become increasingly anxious about their online image and “keeping up appearances” as they get older.

:: Facebook’s new London office brings 800 jobs

Mr Zuckerberg said the shift in focus was likely to reduce “the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement”, at least initially.

But he also expects that time to be more “valuable”, saying he believes the changes to be “good for our community and our business over the long term”.

More from Facebook

  • Why Facebook needs more than a news feed facelift

  • Addicts warned: Facebook groups are not anonymous

  • MPs grill social media firms for ‘failures over hate speech’

  • China tells web giants they must accept limits to access

  • Facebook ‘Take a Break’ lets you erase your ex

  • Facebook launches parent-controlled app Messenger Kids for young children

A Facebook vice president, John Hegeman, said advertising on the site would be unaffected.

Facebook is the largest social media network in the world, with more than two billion monthly users.

More stories

  • Previous article Could £7bn offer prompt GKN to split in two?
  • Next article Queen’s bra firm loses royal warrant after memoir




  • Check Also

    Tests on Cranberries singer O’Riordan’s body

    Dolores O'Riordan
    Image: Dolores O’Riordan was to sing on a new version of Zombie with Bad Wolves

    A coroner is awaiting results of “various tests” to determine what caused the death of The Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan.

    At the opening of the inquest, Westminster Coroner’s Court was told that O’Riordan was found unresponsive in her hotel room on Monday and declared dead at the scene by ambulance workers.

    Coroner’s officer Stephen Earl said: “A post-mortem examination has now taken place and the court is awaiting the results of various tests that have been commissioned.”

    O’Riordan, 46, had been in London for a recording session at the time of her death, her publicist said earlier this week.

    She had been staying at the Hilton on Park Lane.

    Police have said they do not think her death is suspicious.

    Tributes have been paid by singers, producers and even Irish President Michael D Higgins, who described O’Riordan and her Irish rock band as having had an immense influence on rock and pop music in Ireland and internationally.

    More from The Cranberries

    • The Cranberries Zombie cover to raise money for singer Dolores O’Riordan’s children

    • Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan’s death not suspicious

    • The Cranberries: A sweet and lingering fruit of the 90s

    • Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan had planned to re-record Zombie the day after her death

    The Cranberries formed in the Irish city of Limerick at the end of the 1980s.

    Their international hits included the songs Dream, Linger and Zombie.

    More stories

    • Previous article Eight killed in Germany by storm that swept UK
    • Next article Disgraced ex-Olympics doctor faces abuse accusers