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Facebook overhauls News Feed to focus on what friends and family share

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Facebook's new feature 'Today In' to provide feeds on local events, announcements, news

The social network also announced last month that it has started demoting engagement bait posts from the users' news feed. Facebook is changing the way it filters posts and videos on its centerpiece News Feed.

Facebook has just announced that it will be introducing a "major change" to the News Feed, presenting more content from people you know and less public content from brands, media and more. "By making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down". Publishers anxious they would have to pay to have their posts end up in the News Feed, where most users would spend their time, and thus where there is more potential for ad-revenue-generating traffic.

"The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being", Zuckerberg says.

On the other hand, "Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease".

"Academic research on correcting misinformation has shown that putting a strong image, like a red flag, next to an article may actually entrench deeply held beliefs - the opposite effect to what we intended", Facebook Product Manager Tessa Lyons said in a blog post in December.

With more than two billion monthly users, any change Facebook makes can be a seismic event. Last year, it created the Facebook Journalism Project to meet with media companies about how to best use the social network and find ways for them to make money for their efforts.

"People have told us that they dislike spammy posts on Facebook that goad them into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions".

On a quarterly call with investors, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "It's important to remember that Facebook is about bringing people closer together and enabling meaningful social interactions".

As Wired notes, "The upshot: The newsfeed algorithm will now give less weight to the popularity of posts and more weight to posts that encourage users to interact and comment".

Facebook has said before that it will emphasize personal connections over business pages and celebrities that people follow. And many publishers have already noticed a decrease in organic Facebook traffic over the past year or so.

The social media giant is also planning changes in how it handles video - giving priority to those that users engage with and playing down those that generate views by automatically playing when seen in a person's feed. But too often today, watching video, reading news or getting a page update is just a passive experience.

So! How can you make sure you don't miss a reality blurred story?

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