In a websphere saturated with advertising, companies frequently allocate larger segments of budget to promoting their online content. In line with its fiercely competitive business model, Facebook will now make it even harder for private organisations to attract eyeballs to their posts.
In a news release, Facebook confirmed it will “show less public content… from publishers or businesses” in the next update to its social platform. Instead, the algorithms in the Facebook newsfeed will “prioritize posts from friends and family over public content”.
The social media heavyweight said it will be “making updates to ranking so people have more opportunities to interact with the people they care about” and made it clear that this will negatively impact business posts’ reach.
The Facebook post said: “As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease.”
Changes to the way content is selected to appear in the news feed are set to encourage more meaningful back-and-forth conversation on social posts, Facebook said.
In a separate post, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “[R]ecently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”
The billionaire developer explained the tech update comes in reaction to academic research related to well-being, with the company concluding “passively reading articles or watching videos… may not be as good” as connecting with friends or family.
Zuckerberg’s post continued: “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
In October, Facebook co-founder Sean Parker publicly expressed his regret over the detrimental role the social network has played in human relationships around the world.
Last year, Facebook revealed more than a hundred fake Russian accounts had created posts influencing over a hundred million Americans during the 2016 presidential election. Twitter was also found to have been infiltrated by politically manipulative Russian campaigns. Both the Kremlin and President Donald Trump deny collusion.