FB likes friends more than news, ads

Facebook has announced a major change to how its news feed works, giving advertisers and media posts a back seat to what family and friends share on the leading social network. It could signal trouble for media outlets hungry to pull in readers and advertising revenue, but Facebook says the tweak will result in a healthier experience for users. The change to the way Facebook ranks posts will put more weight on social interactions and relationships, according to News Feed product manager John Hegeman. “This is a big change,” Hegeman said
“People will actually spend less time on Facebook, but we feel good about that because it will make the time they do spend more valuable, and be good for our business in the end.”
For example, a family video clip posted by a spouse will be deemed more worthy of attention than a snippet from a star or favourite restaurant.
“We think people interaction is more important than passively consuming content,” Hegeman said. Facebook shares fell 5.4 per cent as trading opened on Friday after the changes were announced on Thursday.
Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg has said that bringing people together and strengthening communities in the real world are priorities.
The news feed ranking update, which is set to roll out globally in the coming weeks, is expected to support that goal.
“And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
Facebook has introduced a series of changes intended to address the the spread of bogus news.
“We are doing a ton of work to reduce the frequency of bad content on Facebook,” Hegeman said.
“This update is more about amplifying the things people value.” He cited academic research indicating that interacting with loved ones is crucial to a person’s wellbeing, while reading news
articles or watching shared videos may not be. — AFP