Facebook is changing how its News Feed algorithms work, aiming to show people more posts from their friends and family and less public content.
For now, Facebook users see a lot of videos, news, and other content from public pages, brands, and businesses, but that's about to change soon. Facebook wants to bring people closer together and ensure that the time users spend on the social network is for the better.
Facebook News Feed Changes
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday that Facebook will overhaul how it displays content on users' News Feeds, changing the types of posts, photos, and videos that appear most often.
In a bid to make time spent on Facebook more "meaningful," the social network wants to reduce the amount of posts that users consume passively, such as public content.
Zuckerberg says that according to research, people use social media to stay in touch with people they care about, and that can have a positive impact on their overall well-being. Connecting with dear ones can make users feel better and less lonely, adds the CEO, and this, in turn, contributes to long-term happiness.
"On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos - even if they're entertaining or informative - may not be as good," reveals Zuckerberg.
Too Much Public Content On Facebook
The CEO goes on to add that based on the feedback it received from its community, it seems that public content is "crowding" users' News Feeds, impeding them from connecting more with the people they care about.
Zuckerberg explains that since businesses, brands, and public pages post far more content than friends and family usually do, it's understandable why Facebook has come to show more public content than personal one. Video posts on Facebook have also increased in the past two years, further contributing to this state.
"Since there's more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what's in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do -- help us connect with each other," adds Zuckerberg.
Consequently, the social network will slow less public content that users consume passively, so that it can more prominently display content from users' friends and family. The move could be in the detriment of various businesses and news organizations that rely on the social network to increase the visibility of their content, but it should improve users' experience overall.
Facebook Engagement Expected To Drop
Facebook's new focus on more personal content will be apparent across the board. It will first change the News Feed in the next few months, but eventually it will overhaul all of the social network's products.
Lastly, Zuckerberg notes that he expects these changes to result in a lower user engagement on the social network, but even if people spend less time on Facebook, the time they do spend will be more meaningful.