Facebook has overhauled how it ranks the posts, videos and photos that appear in its users’ News Feeds, introducing major changes on Thursday designed to put what friends and family have to say first.
In short, you’ll see more posts from friends that have spurred lively debates in the comments. And you’ll see fewer cooking videos from brands and publications. Prioritizing what your friends and family share is part of an effort by Facebook to help people spend time on the site in what it thinks is a more meaningful way.
Facebook is making the changes by tinkering under the hood, reconfiguring its algorithms that guess what you may be most interested in. Here’s what it means for you.
Brands and publishers are losers
Facebook is not being coy about this: Those third-party organizations that took over large swaths of your News Feed years ago — sites that post funny pictures and memes, sell you clothing, or deliver articles about the world — will have the visibility of their posts scaled back under the new arrangement.Thats meaning you will be able to see more posts from friends and family “meaning there will be less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.” For many people, that news will come as a relief. In December, Facebook itself acknowledged that passive consumption of information — surfing shopping websites or reading news articles like this one — is often bad for people’s mood. Those who still want to see posts from their favorite brands and trusted, wonderful publishers, one of whose articles you may be reading at this very moment, will be able to. The options under the News Feed tab on Facebook will allow users to prioritize the pages (and friends) whose posts they are most interest in.
Facebook’s top priority will remain posts from your friends and family
Facebook’s top priority will remain posts from your friends and family. Thus meaning Facebook will be able to predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed.Also Facebook will remain customizable, with the options that allow you to limit your exposure to certain people, even if those people are your siblings or that one over-the-top uncle. One option is to quietly “snooze” a Facebook friend, which will cause their posts to disappear from your feed for 30 days. Facebook always says it’s a policy that family comes first.