Most famous social media giant Facebook Inc. on Thursday began to change the way it filters posts and videos on its centrepiece News Feed, the start of what chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said would be a series of changes in the design of the world’s largest social network.
Zuckerberg, in a sweeping post on Facebook, said the company would change the filter for the News Feed to prioritize what friends and family sshare, while reducing the amount of non-advertising content from publishers and brands.
Facebook, which owns four of the world’s most popular smartphone apps including Instagram, has for years prioritized material that its complex computer algorithms think people will engage with through comments, “likes” or other ways of showing interest.
Zuckerberg, the company’s 33-year-old co-founder, said that would no longer be the goal.
Advertising on the social network would be unaffected by the changes, John Hegeman, a Facebook vice-president, said in an interview.
Facebook and its social media competitors have been inundated by criticism that their products reinforce users’ views on social and political issues and lead to addictive viewing habits, raising questions about possible regulation and the businesses’ long-term viability.
A shift away from non-ad content produced by businesses is a potentially severe blow to news organizations, many of which use Facebook to drive readership, but Zuckerberg said many such posts have been unhealthy.
He wrote, “Some news helps start conversations on important issues. But too often today, watching video, reading news or getting a page update is just a passive experience.”