Facebook's Latest News Feed Changes You Need To Know


While Heraclitus said a few centuries ago, “The only thing that is constant is change,” the same sentiment rings true in the digital world, as Facebook just made yet another significant change to its News Feed. To ensure that its users are provided the most engaging and relevant content possible, Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that the cascading screen of golden content will prioritize friends and family content, while de-emphasizing publishers and brands content. Over the next few weeks, users will begin to see more comments, likes, and shares from family and friends, and less viral videos from media companies.

“We want to make sure that our products are not just fun, but are good for people,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “We need to refocus the system.”

Now, with so many users on Facebook, the amount of content that is shown on ones News Feed is significant. It’s estimated that each user can see up to 1,500 different pieces of content each day, so needless to say, competition for real estate is high. The new change in algorithm measures over a thousand different factors to help shift through the noise, including prioritizing videos which people are proactively searching for and devaluing posts with links to low-quality websites.

Additionally, Facebook is devaluing posts that bait engagement and has even created a machine learning model that can detect distinct types of Engagement Bait. A few examples of Engagement Bait include...

  • Tag Baiting - Asking people to tag their friends.

  • Comment Baiting - Asking people to comment with specific answers (words, numbers, phrases, or emojis).

  • Vote Baiting - Asking people to vote using reactions, comments, sharing, or other means of representing a vote.

  • React Baiting - Asking people to react to the post (includes like, love, haha, wow, sad, and angry).

  • Share Baiting -  Asking people to share the post with their friends.

The goal of the overhaul, ultimately, is for something less quantifiable that may be difficult to achieve: Facebook wants people to feel positive, rather than negative, after visiting. After all, the more good one feels on The Social Network, the more likely they are to come back for more.

Genevieve Lopez