Facebook changes News Feed, investors click on 'sad'

BBC Minute: On Facebook's News Feed

Instead, content that sparks conversations among family and friends will be prioritised.

Facebook first rolled out this change to its news feed in Slovakia and elsewhere in the fall. He lost his place as the world's fourth-richest person to Spanish retail billionaire Amancio Ortega.

Once again, Zuckerberg is pointing towards some sort of return to the old Facebook.

"We're gonna sell more ads", said Ryan Kelly, CEO of Pear Analytics.

Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg made this known in a post on his verified personal page on the social network on Friday.

Stories and clips that draw comments and likes or are shared by users are more likely to be seen, Facebook said in the email obtained by Bloomberg. They're getting pressure from governments, companies and users to reduce the amount of fake news entering public discourse and they're not quite sure how to handle it.

Facebook and companies from Twitter to Apple have been confronting a mounting public backlash against technology and social media, as the public grapples with a constantly connected life in which they are exposed to fake or biased news, cyber bullying and even internet addiction.

"But none of that matters if our services are used in a way that doesn't bring people closer together", said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on their November earnings call.

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

Analysts said that Facebook's revenue is likely to take a hit in the short term but added that this step to make its network seem more authentic is probably necessary for the company to keep people's trust over time. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.

"This is recognition of the issues they've faced with toxic content", said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group.

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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.

In a note earlier this week, Wieser reported Nielsen data showing that in September - the most recent month for which this data is available - core Facebook consumption failed to grow year-over-year for a second consecutive month. Facebook accounts for about 17 percent of visits, on average, to the digital companies he advises, he said.

Facebook has been under fire for months over what it shows people and whether its site has negatively influenced millions of its users. You'll see more stuff from your friends and family and less from pages you like and, most importantly, this news source. Facebook's battle against clickbait, for instance, sent click-dependent publishers like Upworthy into a tailspin several years ago.

In coming days, Facebook users will see fewer posts from publishers, businesses and celebs they follow.

That said, company says this is how people make friends and interact with each other offline.

Currently, News Feed has been created to share a mix of "public" content from brands along with posts by friends and family.

The only positive thing to come of all of this is that it may open the eyes of our elected officials, businesses and the American people who will now see Facebook for what it is: An unscrupulous media company that needs to be regulated.

The trend away from business posts is not new, he said.

Is this the end for brands and publishers on Facebook? "But those opportunities to get in front of users will be that much more impactful if it's more selective".

Now it's his personal goal for 2018 to fix the site and weed out hate, abuse, meddling by malicious nation states, while also making it more "meaningful" and less depressing for users. Travis Parker Martin is the co-founder of Bootkik, a Calgary-based startup that attributes the majority of its growth to its Facebook presence. Some speculate this could be a ploy to force these companies to buy more Facebook ads.

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