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Facebook overhauls news feed to focus on friends and family

12 January, 2018, 06:14 | Author: Janis Wilson
  • Facebook testing “Today In” local news and events section in some parts of U.S

In the wake of criticism about how its news feed can be manipulated and is having a negative effect on users, Facebook is making some big changes to its flagship feature.

"When people are engaging with people they're close to, it's more meaningful, more fulfilling", said David Ginsberg, director of research at Facebook.

Congress is expected to hold more hearings this month, questioning the role social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc's YouTube play in spreading propaganda.

In a previous post, Mr Zuckerberg had vowed to "fix" Facebook in 2018, saying he wanted to ensure that users were protected from abuse and that time spent on the site would be time well spent. The greatest goal of dispute about this change is likely that a few media savants and clients will contend that seeing more news, regardless of whether it creates less remarks than companions' photographs or big name ephemera, is the thing that will really unite the world.

The decision is based on community feedback that suggested too much brand and public content is being displayed, hindering interactive engagement across the site, Zuckerberg said. In 2016, fake news infiltrated Facebook, and posts from foreign actors were blamed for impacting the presidential election.

More news: What Went Wrong With the Launch of the Secretive Zuma Satellite?

The new algorithm will also prioritize posts from friends and family over public content.

"By making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down".

"There is really no silver bullet here to determine what is most meaningful, but we are trying to mine the signals to get the best representation that we can", Hegeman said. So they said they wanted to improve the quality of the feed, which kind of does make sense, except when you consider they allow all sorts of advertising content into the newsfeed....if they are getting paid.

All of this plays into the company's broader efforts to cleanse the service of false information; hand-selecting local publishers to appear inside this new section of the app should (theoretically) help keep fake news to a minimum. He discloses to me that Facebook needs to "respond to the way the world has changed around us, particularly the blast in video". Facebook's algorithmic methods for pushing content have come under fire recently, so it's notable that the company is employing some human curators here.

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