In major Facebook overhaul, Zuckerberg to focus news feed on “meaningful interactions” between friends and family

Facebook is about to undergo a dramatic overhaul, company-wide, to prioritize "“meaningful interactions” between friends and family, starting with the news feed. The change also implies they'll be killing publishers' reach. What does this mean? If you get your daily dose of our Boing Boing goodness on Facebook, in other words, you may be seeing less of us there because Facebook turned some dials. Never trust Facebook, my independent publisher friends.

From the New York Times:

The shift is the most significant overhaul in years to Facebook’s News Feed, the cascading screen of content that people see when they log into the social network. Over the next few weeks, users will begin seeing fewer viral videos and news articles shared by media companies. Instead, Facebook will highlight posts that friends have interacted with — for example, a photo of your dog or a status update that many of them have commented on or liked.

The changes are intended to maximize the amount of content with “meaningful interaction” that people consume on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, said in an interview. Facebook, he said, had closely studied what kinds of posts had stressed or harmed users. The social network wants to reduce what Mr. Zuckerberg called “passive content” — videos and articles that ask little more of the viewer than to sit back and watch or read — so that users’ time on the site was well spent.

“We want to make sure that our products are not just fun, but are good for people,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “We need to refocus the system.”

Thursday’s changes raise questions of whether people may end up seeing more content that reinforces their own ideologies if they end up frequently interacting with posts and videos that reflect the similar views of their friends or family. And bogus news may still spread — if a relative or friend posts a link with an inaccurate news article that is widely commented on, that post will be prominently displayed.

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