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Facebook Businesses Media Social Networks

Facebook Overhauls News Feed in Favor of 'Meaningful Social Interactions' (theguardian.com) 94

Facebook said late Thursday it will begin to prioritize posts in the News Feed from friends and family over public content and posts from publishers. The company will also move away from using "time spent" on the platform as a metric of success and will instead focus on "engagement" with content, such as comments. From a report: The social media platform will de-prioritize videos, photos, and posts shared by businesses and media outlets, which Zuckerberg dubbed "public content," in favor of content produced by a user's 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 wrote in a Facebook post announcing the change. "We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren't just fun to use, but also good for people's well-being."

Facebook Overhauls News Feed in Favor of 'Meaningful Social Interactions'

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  • not a /. Story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, 2018 @09:06AM (#55914365)

    nobody posting here knows what meaningful social interaction means

    • by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @09:24AM (#55914423)

      Based on my feed, it seems to mean "Continually battering people with your political beliefs on a social network"

      • by Ksevio ( 865461 )
        Well I'd prefer that over continuous ads
    • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @09:36AM (#55914495)

      nobody posting here knows what meaningful social interaction means

      Meaningful social interaction is when my cat greets me at the door when I get home after work.

    • Sure we do. It means "Get a life". Funny that facepalm would send you away from your screen.
    • nobody posting here knows what meaningful social interaction means

      Bullshit. I flamed a post that I didn't like, and I even sincerely meant every word of my hate! How is that not meaningfully socially interactive enough?!

    • I know.

      Facebook is a platform for me to publish my amateur photographs and to admire the works of others.

      Also, the hidden "Family" Group works a lot better than email.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Who get's their news from Facebook anyway?

    • by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @09:25AM (#55914427)

      It's the geriatric equivalent of getting your news from late night "comedy" talk shows.

      • The late night comedy shows often have more actual news content than some programs that purport to be news.
        • I don't know about that. The 'actual news' in the late night comedy shows always has an angle as well, they are not really _objective_ 'news' content.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            I think this confusion arises from news commentary which has become so ubiquitous most don't even differentiate news and news commentary anymore.

            When it comes to news commentary, late night/comedy shows provide a memorable and more enjoyable delivery mechanism as opposed to daytime commentators building speculation upon speculation in a tower of cards approaching conspiracy theory and consulting everyone's opinion.

            When it comes to real news reporting without pushing side commentary, neither late night more

    • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @09:43AM (#55914537)

      You may not, I may not, but people do. Sadly.

      Facebook 2004 was awesome. It was about meeting people around me in college. I'm trying to remember if we had pictures other than our profile photo.

      These days it's a cesspool agglomeration of the Eternal September, forwards from grandma and AOL chat.

  • by jbmartin6 ( 1232050 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @09:11AM (#55914385)
    Are they going to stop sending me an email every day begging me to log in if I go on vacation for a couple weeks? It smacks of desperation.
    • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @09:28AM (#55914447) Homepage

      I'd put up with that if they'd go back to the days before they assumed that all of their users are 12 years old. I can't begin to express how annoying it is when I'm in a chat display and the screen gets flooded with animated hearts, or I hold down too long when scrolling and the interface tries to make me randomly insert an emoji. My phone has accidentally sent way too many emojis, often in completely inappropriate contexts. FB has also entirely thrown out the notion of "screen real estate", deciding that the goal is to fit as *little* info onto the screen as possible.

      Oh, and let's not forget the incredible "walled garden" annoyance wherein they try to make you use Facebook as your web browser on cell phones.

      And as for the "public content" reduction, sounds like they're just trying to encourage providers of "public content" to pay them, otherwise their posts get hidden. I "like"d various public content pages because I *want* to see their posts; if I didn't, I wouldn't have liked them :P

    • But how else would I know that I'm missing out on some really exciting stuff that's been going on recently - like the 2 pokes I've got. From ~10 years ago.

  • by Aqualung812 ( 959532 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @09:13AM (#55914395)

    Seriously, if Facebook is concerned about my well-being, then when I look at a news story, I want something from journalists, not uncle Joe's regurgitation of what he heard on Alex Jones.

    The Washington Post has been far less harmful to my mental health than the shit my family and friends have shared and called "news".

  • Finally (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Voyager529 ( 1363959 ) <voyager529@@@yahoo...com> on Friday January 12, 2018 @09:18AM (#55914417)

    I've been hoping for something like this for quite some time. Virally shared videos and news articles have their place, but the primary thing keeping me on Facebook is interacting with people. For every original post, I see a dozen random shared articles from the same two dozen people, and end up missing things I actually care about.

    Really, I would love Facebook to allow me to very directly configure what I see, because the options are so limited - if I didn't 'subscribe' to certain people, I'd never see them. I can't prioritize original posts, or text-only posts, or images over videos...all of which should absolutely be available. This is at least a start. I'll take it.

    • Re:Finally (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @09:27AM (#55914441)

      What I want is a checkbox that lets me turn off ALL shares. I ONLY want to see content that was originally created by people that I know.

      • by symes ( 835608 )

        I really hope this happens. At the moment I manually block all shared sites... about as successful as swimming up a waterfall.

      • What I want is a checkbox that lets me turn off ALL shares. I ONLY want to see content that was originally created by people that I know.

        Try a browser extension called "F.B.Purity". It does exactly that, and fixes a lot of things in the Facebook interface.

      • I'm almost on board with that. But extended family or family of friends are people I don't want to follow, but I might be interested in seeing posts they originally created if it's shared by someone I'm friends with on FB.

      • Yes! Where is that share button when you need it?

    • I started spending a lot of time trying to curate my feed -- blocking most third party articles and re-shares. But then I started going directly to friends walls and realized [i]almost everything[/i] was just a re-share.

      Fb was a huge time sink and I'm glad to be done with it. Now I can spend more time on the Internet's largest message board for transsexual gun owners.

    • by Kiuas ( 1084567 )

      Really, I would love Facebook to allow me to very directly configure what I see, because the options are so limited - if I didn't 'subscribe' to certain people, I'd never see them. I can't prioritize original posts, or text-only posts, or images over videos...all of which should absolutely be available.

      If they did that in their current business model they'd start losing a lot of money. FB sells visibility on the users' feed at a premium, the whole core business is in being the largest and most in depth segm

      • Zuck made a big chunk of change last election cycle, Russkie money or not. News, fake or not, made lots of clicks. Politically, it didn't matter. The company got a big tax break, so FB won either way. The news feeds were driving down traffic because FB doesn't want to spend money and time on new programming tweaks or human auditors and it's less costly to just close it down. If you have politically active friends, you can shut off the shares and refeeds by just unfollowing them, or politely ask them to
  • Now we could just limit the "friends" who post useless news. I only really care about pictures of people I know, or status updates. The rest is just crap, primarily the reason I dislike facebook.

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @09:25AM (#55914429)

    I started using Facebook about 2009 and until the last couple of years found it a fairly entertaining way to waste time and keep up with old friends and family. I was bothered by Facebook's occasional lapses in privacy control, but not overly so.

    I've quit using it for the last six months and what really drove me away was the relentless partisan bitching. Gone were the random food snapshots, the ephemera of people's daily lives and humorous observations. In their place was a relentless sharing of political memes, "news" articles and sociopolitical scolding and partisanship.

    And I mean by both sides -- lunatic right AND left wing bullshit. I live in a liberal community and by default know more liberal people, so it was worse from that side of the equation but there wasn't a shortage of right wing bullshit either.

    My sense is that the turning point was the ability to re-share unoriginal content. Somebody taking the effort to cut and paste a link and hopefully comment is mostly fine, but too much is low-effort resharing and not enough original content. I think this nicely set the stage for partisan ranting and bitching.

    I also think it creates a false social dynamic. While it seemed great to keep in touch with people I didn't get to see too often, the reality is I don't see those people or stay in touch "manually" for all kinds practical and probably social reasons. FB lets you stay in touch, but to what end? I didn't actually end up seeing 90% of those people.

    • Worse, it is the end of the end.

      Yes, BSD is finally dead.

      :-(

    • I've quit using it for the last six months and what really drove me away was the relentless partisan bitching.

      Things will get better. The partisan bitching over the past six months (more like a year) is because of one major factor, and he's not looking too healthy, thank god.

      Everybody's out of sorts at the moment.

    • Gone were the random food snapshots, the ephemera of people's daily lives and humorous observations.

      The flip side of this is that people only cared about trivialities instead of things that have significant impact. A lot of people criticized Twitter for being nothing more than what everyone had for lunch today. There have been jokes for years now about how more people vote for American Idol than vote for President.

      I do agree, though, that it shouldn't be 100% serious, and plenty of the partisan junk is stupid and pointless.

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        People at least are experts in the trivialities of their life.

        Literally nobody I was FB friends with was an expert in politics.

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @09:31AM (#55914463)
    ... a persistent Recent Posts First option, with a persistent option for family/friends only. I want facebook to stop messing with what I see because all they do is screw it up.
    • I completely agree, yet that was one of the first features they started tweaking away in order to get more paid crap in your news feed.
    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      ... a persistent Recent Posts First option, with a persistent option for family/friends only. I want facebook to stop messing with what I see because all they do is screw it up.

      This... Just display what is posted in chronological order without ads.

    • ... a persistent Recent Posts First option, with a persistent option for family/friends only. I want facebook to stop messing with what I see because all they do is screw it up.

      Yes, please. Just show me everything and let me decide what's important.

    • YES!!! That is the main reason I seldom go to FB. Any other site, I can see what's new, decide it's crap, and leave. On FB, I see a bunch of old crap, miss the new crap I want to see, and just get pissed off at the whole thing.

    • by fintux ( 798480 )
      Exactly! I have sent Facebook feedback about this several times. But it always is either 1) some algorithm picking stuff for me, showing the same stuff over and over again or 2) the "most recent" which actually is 90% BS. Such as: somebody I don't even know recently commented/liked this post I've seen already five times. Somebody I know recently commented/liked a post/profile picture from somebody I don't even know. Somebody recently posted an ad/video I don't care about. Somebody recently commented on a ne
  • by dwillden ( 521345 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @09:33AM (#55914475) Homepage
    This is great news, if they actually implement it. FB used to be keeping up with friends and family, now it's a small targeted group of friends or family that FB's algorithms have decided I want to follow while the others only pop into my feed occasionally. It's unending clickbait articles put onto my wall because a friend liked it or commented, not shared it with me but liked or commented on it. Supposedly FB was going to fight clickbait and fake news, but it still dominates the newsfeed.

    But will they actually change anything? Of course not, they don't make money from me liking my a picture of my sister's dinner. No they make money when I click on a clickbait article they've managed to make me think a friend shared, when in fact the friend only reacted to that article. Or often just because the friend likes the page that paid FB for permission to spam it out. FB is not going to cut into their revenue stream.
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @09:33AM (#55914479)

    I think the main issue, is the public comments on the news.
    A lot of news, while interesting and useful isn't very worthy of comments or reactions of people. However nearly anything that goes on there will be a number of people with a strong feelings towards it, but with the size of a population a small minority will make a lot of noise. So there is a lot of noise from these small groups making them seem like the larger community is more polarized then they really are. Then this unfortunately loops back on people instinct to belong to a group, so they will support the nut jobs that they will side with on that topic, and they will support your or my crazy ideas on the topics I feel strongly about. Then we isolate the other guys and push them away from supporting details on your side.

    If you talk to a politically polarized person, about a problem that hasn't been politicized yet, they often would think of rather moderate solutions for an off the cuff problem. However once it has been politicized their stance will change to be inline with their team.

    Why do you think we have Flat Earthers?
    Evolution Deniers lead to Global Warming Deniers lead to Moon Landing Deniers to Flat Earthers. Because it became a competition on who is more Anti-Science enough to join the Anti-Science group.
    There are many other types of group of people who seem to want to be the most of that group, despite going too far.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Meaningful interactions is a bad metric. Try "healthy" interactions. Health can be measured. Meaning is subjective.

    If you build around "meaningful interaction" then you are building for failure.

  • So Facebook wants people to go into a flame war instead of actually having news.
    I am not surprised.
    Anyways, shouldn't be looking at Facebook for news. Stick to AP a local newspaper site.
  • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @09:45AM (#55914559) Homepage

    If they'd just let it stay at "Most Recent" after I select that, I think that make me a thousand times happier than anything else they could do.

    It's really tiresome to have to select the option or use a special URL just to NOT get some random historical posts and junk from groups at the top of my page, rather than a list of the most recent things people and groups did/said.

  • On Facebook?
    Seriously?

  • While Facebook / Google et. al. are fighting for Net Neutrality, I am wondering whether Net Opinion Neutrality should be. Policing public opinion should not be the duty of any company. Otherwise, we will have money controlled opinion policing.

    A big question is who can scope the legal boundary of online corporate opinion policing.

  • There's more to Facebook than the birthday reminder emails?

  • I would just be happy if FB would stop asking every 3rd article if i want to be a friend with zuckerburg or a friends, friends, friends 3rd cousin. Meaningful interactions would give me the ability to turn all the crap I dont want to look at.
  • Seriously, 'time spent' using FB was what they considered a successful metric?

    So of course screwing up the timeline, adding in a ton of unwanted stuff is going to 'succeed' by that standard. So would slowing down the scroll speed and increasing text size. Faaaaaawk. Who is moron in charge of thinking up these things?

    Suddenly 'engagement' is what's valued? Seriously? It took this long to figure out that's a better sign of a user experience? When they stop and participate in a post? Seriously? SERIOUSLY??

    My '

  • The problem with facebook, is facebook decides what you see. Its not like a newsgroup or forum, where every post is in order.
    Facebook goes out of their way to alter feeds instead of giving groups.

    How about offering, friends, family, businesses, entertainment, groups. if I click the friends feed, I want all my friend's posts in order from new to last, not facebooks algorithm messing with my feeds. Facebook has many issues, but facebooks intentionally messing with my feeds, picking what I can see, that's the

  • This change has two benefits for Facebook: 1) Seeing more family and friend updates, and less business page posts, makes for a more enjoyable experience for users. This means they'll come back more, which in turn means more opportunities for Facebook to show them advertisements and make money. 2) Less brand Page posts means brands have to spend more on paid advertisements if they want to be seen by the more than 1.3 billion people that log on to Facebook daily. Again, more money for Facebook. Facebook al
  • I want it reverse order chronologically. Nothing else. Unfortunately, they not only make "relevant" the default, they prevent you from setting it chronological permanently, changing it back when they damn well feel like it. STOP telling me how I should interact with my social circle. If I want to see what happened the MOST recent in time, that's what I want to see. Now, Facebag is just a way to hear from old friends and extended family. If I want to chat with actual friends, I text them or hit them up
  • Where "people" is defined as "shareholders."

  • We'll see if it does what you think it will, but I think your head is in the right place on this one.
  • I want to read stuff on Facebook in forward chronological order, starting with the oldest one I have not yet read.

    I want filters. Flexible, customizable filters.

    Friend A is an over-the-top enthusiastic evangelist for Bariatric Surgery. 90% of her posts are about the glories of bariatric surgery, and support groups for such. I want to see none of that, but I very much do want to see the other 10% of her posts.

    Friend B posts every Snoopy meme that he encounters, a dozen a day. I don't want to block all Sn

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