Facebook users will have a new version of the news feed on which priority will be given to publications shared by family and friends
Facebook has initiated the most important overhaul of content on its network in recent years: users will now have a new version of the newsfeed, on which priority will be given to publications shared by family and friends.
The announcement was made in the night from Thursday to Friday by the social network, after a test phase of several months in half a dozen countries in the world, with the stated intention to focus on the well-being to be surfers.
Specifically, photos, links or comments posted by friends or acquaintances will remain visible on the wire, unlike items from pages „liked“ by users, who will be on their side less present.
„Pages see their audience, video viewing time, and traffic decrease, which will vary from page to page based on a variety of factors, such as the type of content that is produced and how users interact with it.“ said Facebook’s news lead manager Adam Mosseri on a blog post.
This new organization should help foster interactions and personal relationships between users, explains to AFP John Hegeman, head of news in the group.
„It’s a big change,“ he says. „People are actually going to spend less time on Facebook, but it suits us because it will make the time they spend more valuable and ultimately it will be good for our business.“
Facebook estimates, for example, that a family photo is more valuable to a user than a star clip or a brand of clothing.
„We believe that interaction between people is more important than passive consumption of content,“ Hegeman insists, adding that it is „one of the most important updates“ that Facebook has made.
– The worried media –
But the new feature is particularly worrying the media, who see content posted on their pages relegated to the background and fear significant consequences for their ability to reach their readers, unless sponsoring content on the newsfeed.
In countries where functionality has been tested since October, such as Slovakia, Guatemala or Bolivia, the media has seen a significant drop in visits to their websites from Facebook.
The publications produced by the media, as well as the content posted by brands, were then relegated to a separate thread („explore“), which was ultimately not retained in the final version of the update.
In an article published in mid-October on the medium.com site, the Slovakian journalist Filip Struharik, in charge of sharing social media content for the Dennik N newspaper, estimated that the 60 main pages of Slovak media had seen their interactions. , whether „like“, shares or comments, reduce by half.
However, said the journalist, „the traffic on the sites of major Slovak media has not changed significantly because they have many regular readers, a strong homepage, notifications, newsletters … But we let’s see a drop in traffic on smaller media sites. “
„It’s pretty healthy,“ said a Paris analyst, „Facebook does not want to take too much responsibility for spreading false news, and it’s time for the media to regain control and no longer depend on GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Ed).
The co-founder and CEO of the group, Mark Zuckerberg, has made it a priority to bring together people using his network in real life. The leader cited several studies that showed that interactions with loved ones promote well-being, much more for example than reading articles.
Especially as the social network, like Twitter, has been criticized recently for having left on its site false information, like the content published by the Russians during the 2016 US presidential campaign.
A criticism that could persist, however, because the new operation of the news feed of Facebook does not relegate to second place articles or videos shared by friends, who remain the first cause of viral false information on social networks.