Tech

Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook move will play out in long-term

Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook move will play out in long-term

If you follow the Reading Eagle on Facebook, you can expect to see less of us in your news feed over the coming months.

Will posts from a friend who shares news articles be treated differently?

Facebook's announcement Thursday that it would deprioritize articles and videos may not have come as a surprise to most publishers, but it will nearly certainly put a scare into them, even if it is not yet clear what the effect will be.

Instead, content that sparks conversations among family and friends will be prioritised. Investors are anxious about Facebook's hand in the fall of advertising figures.

Based on this, we're making a major change to how we build Facebook.

More clicks mean the posts would move higher in people's news feeds, even if people don't really want to see them. Facebook is not just a social network; it's a content curator.

Following years of hiring editors and investing in content specifically for the social-media company's mighty news feed, Facebook's chief executive announced sweeping changes that will redirect the site's 2 billion-plus users more toward posts from friends and family and away from business and media content. The numbers will vary based on factors including "the type of content they produce and how people interact with it", Mosseri added.

Will Facebook put up more barriers to keep fake-news publishers from gaining the audiences they have in the past?

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Admitting that its changes will likely reduce the time people spend on Facebook less was a big deal for the company. Whenever someone spends at least 30 minutes a week in a group, Facebook classifies it as "meaningful". And Facebook says its own research shows that users are exposed to more divergent views on its platform than they would be otherwise. "They don't think there are any real cracks in the Facebook story".

Jason Kint, the chief executive of Digital Content Next, a trade group that represents entertainment and news organizations, including The Times, was skeptical of the change in strategy.

How will it affect the company's business? In this charged atmosphere, agents working for a Kremlin-linked company, the Internet Research Agency, disseminated content that reached an estimated 126 million users in the United States in 2016, Facebook revealed to Congress during hearings on the matter a year ago.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been doing a bit of soul-searching about the negative effects his company may be having on society and its users' psyches. But Kint said he had hoped that the social media giant would find another way to weed out hoaxes and made-up news stories without penalizing all publishers. That would certainly help Facebook avoid the responsibility of being a media company - something it so desperately wants. Mr Zuckerberg outlined a less absolute change in his post that will see commercial content de-prioritised rather than removed from the news feed all together. Since then, Facebook took various steps trying to prevent fake news from becoming viral via Facebook.

Is this the end for brands and publishers on Facebook?

That will leave businesses that want publicity on Facebook no choice but to spend more on advertising, and as a result prices will climb, predicted Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, which advises corporate brands on social media.

The algorithm changes will nearly certainly affect ad-supported media companies like BuzzFeed and Bustle, which depend in part on Facebook to bring in an audience.


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