Facebook: ever-changing news feed


Associated Press

Facebook is once again tweaking what you see to focus more on personal connections and take the spotlight off brands and news articles.

Facebook says it will highlight posts you are most likely to engage with and make time spent on social media more “meaningful.” That means cutting back on items that Facebook users tend to passively consume, including video.

To try to keep you glued to Facebook, it regularly updates the formula that decides what posts you see. With the latest update, the company says it’s focusing on what Facebook is for – connecting with people you know.

Last June, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook would tweak its formulas to try to boost membership in “meaningful” groups. Whenever someone spends at least 30 minutes a week in a group, Facebook classifies it as “meaningful.” The company estimates that 130 million of its users are in such groups. It wants to increase that to more than a billion by 2022.

Facebook tweaked its news feed in 2014 to clamp down on “clickbait,” posts with grabby headlines like “you won’t believe what happened next” yet ultimately disappoint.

More clicks mean the posts would move higher in people’s news feeds, even if people don’t really want to see them.

In 2013, Zuckerberg said he wanted the news feed to look more like a digital newspaper, filled with information tailored to each user.

Later, the company expanded these tools to let you choose the friends and brands whose posts you want to see first.

The changes won’t affect how often you see advertisements, or as Facebook calls them, “sponsored posts.”

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