Facebook announced a significant overhaul to its platform that seeks to boost social interaction. Following feedback from users that business posts were crowding out social moments, the social media network has decided to return to its roots.
Therefore, the company will be changing its News Feed layout to feature fewer branded or media posts. Content should instead focus on promoting meaningful interactions with friends and family.
Mark Zuckerberg announced in a blog post that the changes would be made over the coming months. He also explained why media content had taken a dominant role across many users’ feeds.
“It’s easy to understand how we got here. Video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years. 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.”
Zuckerberg also mentioned that more meaningful social interactions were positive for people, whilst passive reading of articles may not.
Although the changes may ultimately lead to people spending less time on Facebook, this time may be spent more valuable.
However, the news sent Facebook’s stocks plummeting. By focusing on personal content, Facebook will ultimately be angering many publishers. Social media is currently responsible for 20.9% of US digital advertising. Zuckerberg wasn’t shy about the fact that the redesign would result in fewer publisher and media posts being seen.
At the same time, fewer content posts by publishers may work in their favour. Indeed, the move may ultimately inspire more quality content.
It’s clear that Zuckerberg is keen on making Facebook a socially driven community once again and move away from its advertising powerhouse image. In addition, the social network has faced much criticism and backlash over its potential to be abused (fake news, Russian advertising during the presidential election campaign).