Zuckerberg changes Facebook's focus to be more 'meaningful'

Zuckerberg changes Facebook's focus to be more 'meaningful'

Facebook on Thursday announced a major update that will put friends and family above pages or celebrities in a user's news feed - and likely result in people spending less time on the leading social network.

The section will be powered by a mix of machine learning software and human workers used to surface the local content. Facebook news partnership team will approve local news publishers after testing their authenticity. Back in 2012 Facebook began a little experiment where they started allowing pages to pay money to be seen more often in the newsfeeds of their fans, they called it "Promoted Posts" before settling on a less advertisy name, "Boosted Posts".

The changes will take effect over the coming weeks.

"Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we'll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses", the blog post read.

In an interview with New York Times, Zuckerberg further emphasised his desire to make social media meaningful, not just fun, and something that's "good for people".

"But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable", he wrote. The company has long pushed users to spend more time on the social network.

Facebook has been under fire for months over what it shows people and whether its site has negatively influenced millions of its users.

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The change may also work against Facebook's immediate business interests.

News Feed is the centerpiece of the social network.

Given recent public scrutiny, the social network was now "in the hot seat", said Gabriel Kahn from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

"As an industry, if customers are not enjoying the experience of our advertising, then we need to rethink how we go about doing that advertising".

"There should be public debate about the values they're applying to that algorithm", he said.

The first changes will be observed on its News Feed, which will show more posts from friends, family and groups. The initiative set out to improve Facebook's rocky relationship with publishers, though as 2017 progressed its mission to "support journalism and news literacy" certainly became full-on mission critical.

Facebook is again changing the news feed, and if you rely on Facebook to show you news or stories from publications and websites that you like-such as this one!-you may be affected.

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