How is your Facebook news feed going to change?

BBC Minute: On Facebook's News Feed

"Since there's more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what's in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do - help us connect with each other".

Facebook says it will highlight posts you are most likely to engage with and make time spent on social media more "meaningful".

"As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media", Zuckerberg said in a post on his Facebook page.

According to CNBC, Twitter stands to gain from Facebook's decision when it comes to selling advertising, with traffic for media companies dependent on Facebook as a distribution platform, set to diminish.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, said in an interview with The Times on Thursday that he wanted the company to focus on "meaningful interaction".

Mr Zuckerberg said the company had examined academic research on social media.

"They're definitely going to be required to buy an ad", Schiffer said.

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What's less clear is how these changes will address Facebook's problem with false information on the site, as many stories that spread are shared by users' friends and family.

Changes to Facebook's News Feed may have an impact on major suppliers of news and other content. As the company tries to return to its friends-and-family roots, news outlets like BuzzFeed, CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times will be watching closely.

Zuckerberg predicts users will spend less time on Facebook as a result of these changes. Less time, of course, means fewer advertising eyeballs at any given time.

Facebook said the changes will start rolling out within the next couple of months. In this charged atmosphere, agents working for a Kremlin-linked company, the Internet Research Agency, disseminated content that reached an estimated 126 million users in the United States in 2016, Facebook revealed to Congress during hearings on the matter past year.

Nic Newman, a digital media strategist who authors the Reuters Institute Digital Report for Oxford University, said the move is "not unexpected" because "it's been a pretty bad year for Facebook in terms of its PR" - referencing the criticism the company has faced over "fake news" and its increasing dominance, alongside Google, of the online advertising market. At the time, journalists' two biggest fears were that Facebook would institute a pay-to-play strategy as described above, and that it would take its new news feed worldwide. Facebook's battle against clickbait, for instance, sent click-dependent publishers like Upworthy into a tailspin several years ago. He's come a long way since November 2016, when he dismissed the notion that fake news on Facebook could have influenced the US presidential election as a "pretty insane idea". "Good on Facebook - they are doing the right thing, long-term".

Will publishers pay to get their posts in front of a larger Facebook audience?

The algorithm changes will nearly certainly affect ad-supported media companies like BuzzFeed and Bustle, which depend in part on Facebook to bring in an audience.

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