Facebook share price hit by news feed changes

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Exhausted of seeing news all over your feed on Facebook?

But after a year in which the spread of fake news, Russian interference and divisive politics sullied Facebook's reputation and user experience, efforts to deliver media content over the platform may have felt like more trouble than they were worth.

Although Facebook doesn't say this is the reason for the change, it's not hard to imagine that what happened in 2016 helped shape the upcoming News Feed.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the shift in the configuration of the News Feed on Thursday, saying it would reduce engagement by users at first but would lead to their improved "well-being".

Facebook users can expect less media and public content in their news feeds and more posts from their families and friends under new plans to make the social media site more "relevant" to users. "And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard - it should encourage meaningful interactions between people".

"In Facebook's case, "dead", mercifully, would mean a user who quits the site cold turkey, and sets themselves free of social media. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable", he said.

Having first dismissed claims that Facebook, which boasts two billion users worldwide, was manipulated by foreign actors to sway the 2016 USA presidential election, Zuckerberg has since performed U-turn and vowed to "fix" the site in 2018. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don't react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. This isn't because of something that A Little Bit of Stone (ALBOS) has done, it's because of a Facebook algorithm change (the bit that decides what you see). They were told Facebook wants to support them, yet when it boils right down to it, Facebook is judging their work as ‘not as good in terms of connecting us with each other. So you'll get yourself up to the top of way more feeds by making it easy1and obvious-for people to engage with you.

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The positive side of Facebook's changes could be a boost for influencers who genuinely are sparking debate: who have interesting things to say and an engaged community of fans discussing them.

This may only fit into the business models of some publishers, but we could see them starting to offer paid social options in their media packs to provide brands the reach they desire.

Vipul Mistry believes this is a signal to publishers and other businesses to push more of the content - and websites - that they own. But that number could dip given the latest update to Facebook's algorithm.

From the list of settings options, click on "News Feed Preferences".

The move will not affect advertisements - users will continue to see the same ads they have before, "meaningful" or not. Facebook referrals as well as advertising revenues for media outlets relying too heavily on Facebook's newsfeed could take a hit amid recent changes, but investors think that that downward trend is only temporary.

By prioritizing content that sparks conversations, Facebook could risk promoting more polarizing and opinionated posts that generate lots of comments, only adding to the filter bubble.

In his wonderful analysis for "The Atlantic", Franklin Foer draws the attention towards the danger of Facebook imitating a traditional media company.

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