Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Industry | By Terrell Bush

How is your Facebook news feed going to change?

How is your Facebook news feed going to change?

Facebook announced a major update that will put friends and family above pages or celebrities in a user's news feed.

Here are some frequently asked questions about what users and businesses might expect from the changes.

"This is understandable as brands and publishers have spent a lot of money over the years to build a presence on the platform and supplied Facebook's walled-garden with content to fuel its News Feed". "In our view, making the feed more relevant should boost user and engagement growth over time".

Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg has said that bringing people together and strengthening communities in the real world are priorities. The company gave you more ways to decide what you want or don't want to see. If Zuckerberg's statement on Friday is to be believed, he's made a decision to de-emphasise some of the business strategies that make Facebook mountains of cash and reimagine Facebook as a place for friends once again. Less time, of course, means fewer advertising eyeballs at any given time.

Facebook has been doing very well financially.

If the stock closes at that level, it would be the biggest one-day decline since September and would shrink the company's market value by $23 billion, which is more than the total market value of rival Snap, the owner of Snapchat.

Last week, Zuckerberg said his "personal challenge" for 2018 (something he's done every year since 2009), will be to fix Facebook.

"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", he added. At least, that's what the company hopes.

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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. The changes could jeopardize that route to their audiences, though some speculate it could be a ploy to force these companies to buy more Facebook ads.

Facebook has pushed video in its news feed in recent years, prompting many publishers to hire staff in this field in what was termed a "pivot to video".

Despite some turbulence, Facebook appears to have weathered the storms so far.

Do you enjoy arguing with people you disagree with? So yes, this is possible. "And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard - it should encourage meaningful interactions between people".

"It's in the same direction that Facebook has been pursuing for a while: offering a place for discussion among individuals, a community space, rather than being a news source", said Oh Se-uk, a senior researcher on digital news at the Korea Press Foundation. Of course, this is hard to verify independently, since the company doesn't often show that data to outsiders.

Zuckerberg predicts users will spend less time on Facebook as a result of these changes. Video, especially, has been a big focus for the social media giant - and videos have been especially good at keeping users around.

While analysts were sanguine, some users, particularly publishers, were anxious.

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