Mark Zuckerberg has just announced another change to Facebook’s algorithm, but this time it’s actually kind of interesting.
They’ve taken initiative in making our user experience more enjoyable, and through a long look at feedback from the billions of site-goers, they’ve revamped their algorithm to promote more personal content on our feeds, rather than news and videos.
You’ve likely noticed in the past year or two that your Facebook feed is lacking in the “social” aspect that made it so appealing in the site’s initial release. Facebook is really no longer the place we go to see content from our friends and families, as our feeds are typically loaded with random content pushed by publishers and videos from various media sources.
Fred Vogelstein at Wired sat down with Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s Vice President in charge of newsfeed, to get a better understanding of Facebook’s intentions with this new shake up.
Mosseri really hammered home the fact that this is an all-in effort to bring us more content from the people we actually care about, and to ensure our feeds are full of content we find interesting and inspiring. He says, “What we’re going to try and do is better identify and value meaningful social interactions between people. We want the newsfeed to be a place where people have conversations, where they connect with people. So we’re going to focus more on that, and less on how much time people spend on Facebook and on newsfeed, and less on even how much they share directly.”
Facebook is attempting to significantly lessen content like news and videos, partly because they are much more passive in nature. With videos, all you are really doing is staring at the screen and letting someone else do the thinking for you. Also, while you are watching a video you can’t like or comment on anything else, which is a huge concern for Facebook and the way they analyze content.
Facebook will use things like comments and likes to hone in on the content we personally find more interesting, and will boost this content to the top of our feeds. So this doesn’t mean the end to news on our feed. Lets say you are really interested in a hot topic in the news and you actively click, search for, like, and comment on content pertaining to that topic, news stories of interest will still show up on your feed. However, publishers will no longer have the ability to shove their posts in your face regardless of whether you care or not.
The main purpose of this new change for Facebook is to create an environment from which conversation can grow. I, for one, will be incredibly happy when the day comes where I take genuine interest in what I see in my feed, instead of scroll mindlessly through floods on irrelevant content.