Facebook changes the wall: fewer articles, more pictures of friends

Facebook will bring big changes to the News section to improve the user experience and make them happy. Less visibility for pages

Mark Zuckerberg had announced it at the beginning of the year: "I'll fix Facebook's mistakes to improve the user experience." And the first major change will be made to the NewsFeed, the section that welcomes us when we enter Facebook and shows us all the posts, images and videos shared by pages and by our friends.

With a post on his official Facebook account and a message on the blog of the social network, Mark Zuckerberg announced the changes that will undergo the algorithm that manages the News section: the posts shared by pages will have less exposure, while will be privileged the content of friends, relatives and those who need help or advice. What will this change lead to? According to Zuckerberg it will decrease the time a user spends on Facebook, but the experience will be better and make people happier. The change won't make page managers happy, who will see their posts' interactions decrease in the coming months. But Zuckerberg's goal is to save Facebook from fake news and from the "power" conquered by some pages that "pass off" as true news sensationally false.

How the users' News section will change

It was several months that Facebook was working on a change of the NewsFeed (dividing, for example, the contents published by users with those of the pages), but the various experiments were not successful. And they had received a lot of criticism from publishers. Who will like even less the changes that in the coming weeks will change the News section. All posts shared by newspapers through their own pages will have less and less weight, while posts from their friends will be favored. This will lead videos, memes and images created by the pages to be seen less and less and to appear on the NewsFeed of users only in case they reach a high interaction (comments, likes, shares). To be penalized will be especially those contents that Facebook defines as "passive", or that do not stimulate conversation. The change in the algorithm will be effective on all profiles by the end of January.

Making people happy

Zuckerberg has budgeted that in the coming months the average stay of a user on Facebook will be lower (fewer videos on the NewsFeed means less time wasted by users to watch movies) and advertising revenue will also be reduced. But the ones who will gain will be the users, who will be happier after finishing using Facebook. Zuckerberg in his message on the Facebook blog has spoken of some studies that show that users are happier when they can comment on content on the social network. For this reason, content "that only lets you look at it" will be penalized.

Fighting fake news

Making people happier is closely related to the issue of fake news. Facebook, as well as other social platforms, have been accused of playing a very important role over the past year in influencing voting intentions. Brexit and the election of the President of the United States are the two best examples. The change that will be made to the NewsFeed will hit those pages that make fake news their main source of income. By making them disappear from the News section, users will be less influenced by hoaxes and will be able to build their own opinion.

The only ones who will not be happy by the change in Facebook's algorithm will be publishers, who will see a decrease in traffic from the social network. But already for some months the platform has been trying to limit the posts shared by newspaper pages.

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