Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Facebook to Update News Feed for Making Friends a Priority

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Justin Sullivan Getty Images
Nina Mathis | 14 January, 2018, 00:47

The US election in 2016 saw a string of adverts making misleading or factually inaccurate statements about political candidates gain traction on the site.

His net worth has dropped by 4.4%.

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To ensure quality time for visitors, Facebook will prioritise posts by friends and family members over public content by publishers and brands.

In a post on Thursday (Friday NZ Time), CEO Mark Zuckerberg said community feedback had shown that public content has been "crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other". Zuckerberg said in the post yesterday that he wanted to change the way Facebook ranks posts by putting more weight on social interactions and relationships.

The changes fell short of a more radical move to split Facebook's news feed in two, which had been expected by some in the industry. " By doing so, Zuckerberg says he hopes to make the time people "spend on Facebook more valuable".

For much of the past few months, Zuckerberg has been thinking aloud about Facebook's mission, saying he wanted Facebook to become a place for meaningful social interaction.




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

Those interactions, Zuckerberg said, can be good for a user's well-being. His vow followed a year that saw Facebook come under sharp criticism for contributing to a climate of extreme political polarisation, the distribution of fake news and escalating privacy concerns. He could name a professional journalist as a public editor, and give him or her an inside view of Facebook's media operations-and let them report on the company's impact on the media. "People are frustrated with the Russian Federation revelations and fake news and have taken it into their own hands and stopped engaging".

Facebook took a look at their mountain of data and made that decision for you, replacing publisher content with something that evokes ever-more extreme emotions rather than serious interest in what is actually happening around you. " Adding that if Facebook does the morally right thing and starts enforcing a meaningful set of standards over the content Facebook allows people to see on an everyday basis, it "will be good for our community and our business over the long term too". Mr Akhil Karthik, who runs a social media campaign, said, "Facebook is making it hard for social media marketing".

Given that Facebook shares were trading at around $127 in January 2017, the company's value is still up by more than 40 per cent year-on-year, even after this week's fall.

That could mean well over $20B off the company's market cap today. That's because Facebook ads now produce some of the best returns on investment compared to competing social platforms.

"Facebook will continue to grow its massive global installed base in our opinion while importantly monetizing users especially on the Instagram side of the house, which remains the "core 1-2 punch" that underlies our bullish thesis on the name", said Daniel Ives, head of technology research at GBH Insights, as quoted by CNBC. The update would result in putting up the family and friends above the pages or celebrities in a user's news feed. Posts from pages will show up less, and further down in your Feed. But my news feed was crowded with sponsored posts. One of the ways we do this is by connecting people to meaningful posts from their friends and family in News Feed. That means the experience has largely centered on passive consumption of content.

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