Facebook changes the face of its news feed

Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas Archives Agence France-Presse
Facebook estimated, for example, that a family photo is more valuable to a user that the video is a celebrity or advertising a clothing brand.

Facebook has begun the most significant overhaul of the content on its network in recent years : users will now have a new version of the newsfeed on which the priority will be given to publications that are 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 a half-dozen countries in the world, with the desire to focus on the well-being of internet users.

 

In practical terms, photos, links or comments posted by your friends or acquaintances will be well visible on the wire, the difference of content from pages “liked” by users, which will be less present.

We believe that the interaction between people is more important than the passive consumption of content.
The person responsible for the newsfeed at Facebook, Adam Mosseri

“The pages could see their audience, the time of viewing of videos and their traffic decrease. This will vary from one page to another depending on various factors, such as the type of content produced and the way in which users interact with “, explained in a blog post the head of the newsfeed at Facebook, Adam Mosseri.

 

This new organization should allow to promote interactions and personal relations between the users, explains to the AFP John Hegeman, head of the news feeds within the group.

 

“This is a big change,” he says. “People are going to in fact spend less time on Facebook, but it suits us because it will make the time that they spend there the more precious, and, in the end, this will be good for our business. “

 

Facebook estimated, for example, that a family photo is more valuable to a user that the video is a celebrity or advertising a clothing brand.

 

“We believe that the interaction between people is more important than the passive consumption of content, “insists Mr. Hegeman, adding that he is” one of the most important updates ” that Facebook has achieved.

 

Concern in the media world

 

But the new feature is especially worried about the media, who view the content posted on their pages relegated to the background and fear of important consequences on their ability to reach their readers, unless you pay to appear on the news feed.

 

In the country where the feature has been tested since the month of October, such as Slovakia, Guatemala, and Bolivia, the media has observed a major drop in visits to their websites from Facebook.

 

The publications made by the media, in the same way that the content posted by brands, were then relegated on a separate thread (” Explore “), which was not ultimately retained in the final version of the update.

 

In an article published in mid-October on the website Medium, the journalist of the Slovak Filip Struharik, in charge of sharing content on social networks for the newspaper Dennik N, considered as well as the 60 main pages of Slovak media had seen their interaction — ” likes “, shares, or comments — drop by half.

 

For all that, stated the journalist, ” the traffic on the sites of the major Slovak media did not change significantly, because they have many regular readers, a home page strong, notifications, newsletters,… But we are already seeing a drop in traffic to the media sites less important “.

 

Sign of the excitement around this announcement, the title of the social network fell 4.48 % shortly after the opening of Wall Street, 179,36 $, around 8: 50.

 

“It is rather healthy “, however, considers an analyst in paris, ” Facebook doesn’t want to take too much responsibility in the dissemination of false information. And it is time that the media take control again and no longer be dependent upon the GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) “.

 

The co-founder and p.-d. g. of the group, Mark Zuckerberg, has been identified as a priority of bringing together the people using its network in real life. The manager cited several studies that have shown that interactions with loved ones promote the well-being, much more, for example, that the reading of press articles.

 

As the social network, like Twitter, has been criticized recently for having left to blossom on its website false information, like content published by the Russians during the us presidential campaign of 2016.

 

A criticism which could, however, persist, as the new operation of the newsfeed of Facebook does not relegate to the second plan, the articles, or videos shared by friends, which remain the leading cause of virality of false information on social networks.

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