Facebook takes the "news" out of your News Feed


If you're tired of Facebook being cluttered with shared stories from various media organisations (Newstalk aside!), a positive change is coming.

Facebook has been ranking shared stories higher in people's News Feeds for just over a year but the decision – and the newer high priority given to live videos – has been raising the ire of many users.

The company has taken the feedback on board and, from today, it has announced that it is going to place a greater emphasis on original content from your contacts.

In a blog post, the social networking giant said:

"We’ve heard from our community that people are still worried about missing important updates from the friends they care about.

"For people with many connections this is particularly important, as there are a lot of stories for them to see each day.

"So we are updating News Feed over the coming weeks so that the things posted by the friends you care about are higher up in your News Feed."

That means media publishers are likely to see a decline in their reach.

Lars Backstrom, Engineering Director, said:

"Overall, we anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages. The specific impact on your Page’s distribution and other metrics may vary depending on the composition of your audience.

"For example, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts."

Core values

The company also outlined its "set of core values" when it comes how the News Feed operates.

Aside from friends and family coming first, the California company has sought to stress that they are "not in the business of picking with issues the world should read about."

According to Adam Mosseri, VP, Product Management, News Feed:

"Our integrity depends on being inclusive of all perspectives and view points, and using ranking to connect people with the stories and sources they find the most meaningful and engaging.

"We don’t favor specific kinds of sources – or ideas. Our aim is to deliver the types of stories we’ve gotten feedback that an individual person most wants to see. We do this not only because we believe it’s the right thing but also because it’s good for our business."

Promoting "authentic communication" is also noted as important to Facebook.

Mosseri continues:

"We work to understand what kinds of stories people find misleading, sensational and spammy, to make sure people see those less."

Craig Fitzpatrick, Newstalk,com 

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