LONDON Jan 13 (TNS): Facebook is changing what its users will see to highlight posts they are most likely to engage with and make time spent on social media more “meaningful.”
By cutting back on items that Facebook users tend to passively consume, the change could hurt news organizations and other businesses that rely on Facebook to share their content.
The idea is to help users to connect with people they care about, not make them feel depressed and isolated.
“The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post Thursday.
“We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.”
Under the revised regime, there will be fewer posts from brands, pages and media companies and more from people. There will be fewer videos, which Facebook considers “passive.” People will likely spend less time on Facebook as a result, the company says.
That’s because even if people read such content on Facebook, they don’t necessarily comment or interact with it in other ways.
But Facebook gave scant details about how it would define what’s “meaningful.”
The changes could shrink the social media giant’s role as a major news source for many people.
“It’s in the same direction that Facebook has been pursuing for a while: offering a place for discussion among individuals, a community space, rather than being a news source,” said Oh Se-uk, a senior researcher on digital news at the Korea Press Foundation.