News feed to get a makeover

Ivan Schwartz
January 14, 2018

The company gave you more ways to decide what you want or don't want to see. The social media platform said among its biggest focus areas for 2018 is to ensure that time spent on Facebook is well spent. "But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable".

Some users who spoke to Business Insider said that while they were seeing relatively few posts from organizations they follow in their news feed, they didn't think they were seeing much less than they'd seen before. So, when you see a sponsored post, you'll at least notice it more if not engage with it more.

Mark Zuckerberg-Facebook Chief and Co-founder mentioned that bringing people together and making stronger ties within the communities in the real world are the priorities. But is he throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater? I do get a lot of news stories through Facebook, but its move makes it even less useful to me than it has become in recent months.

The changes may provide a benefit to Facebook's advertisers. The social network is rolling out changes to how your News Feed looks.

This means Facebook's more than 2 billion monthly users can expect to see more from their family members and friends. "This move, in particular, has the potential to rattle countless publishers and brands who rely on the social network to distribute and promote content".

One of Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg's goals for 2018 is "to make sure time spent on Facebook is time well spent".

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The jury is still out on how seeing mostly exuberant posts from friends and family affects people over time.

It's easy to understand how we got here. "Without that - as the large majority of all new online advertising spend continues to go to the search and social media platforms - quality content will no longer be a choice or an option". In this way Facebook is putting more emphasis on unique and original content, pushing page owners to figure out how to start producing content people want to interact with organically, so that they don't have to keep paying Facebook to do it for them in the future.

"The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being", wrote Zuckerberg. Connecting with dear ones can make users feel better and less lonely, adds the CEO, and this, in turn, contributes to long-term happiness. Zuckerberg has insisted in the past that Facebook is not a media company, and said that the notion of his platform's content influencing the election was a "crazy idea".

"There is too much uncertainty relating to the economic impact of Facebook's pending News Feed changes for us to be comfortable retaining a Buy rating on the stock", wrote Stifel analyst Scott Devitt in a research note, cutting his recommendation to "hold" from "buy". Companies, advertisements, and videos clogged up users' News Feeds.

As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. This will enable users to spend time in a more meaningful way and show content that they are most interested in. 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. That's because Facebook ads now produce some of the best returns on investment compared to competing social platforms.

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