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Your Facebook News Feed is about to change, here’s how and why

Enjoy a fresh look News Feed, as Facebook announces big changes.

Soon, a new era of Facebook will dawn. If you’re an avid News Feed scroller, you’re in for something of a surprise. The algorithm that determines what you see on the site is about to change. Here’s what you need to know.

How Will Our News Feed Change?

While you may not have known it before now, the goal of the Facebook News Feed was set on “helping you find relevant content”. However, according to Mark Zuckerberg, that’s all about to change. Instead of that honourable goal, the new aim will be to help users “have more meaningful interactions”.

 

In short, that means that you will soon see a rather major change in the posts that dominate your News Feed. Right now, the feed is flooded by posts from brands and news publications. Scrolling through, it means that you’re more likely to see what dress actress Meghan Markle just wore, rather than your friend’s status.

The new algorithm (a.k.a. internet magic) will mean that you see more from your Facebook friends and the groups of which you’re a member. The idea is that you engage with other users on the site more than you do the likes of the media or companies.

Why Is It Changing?

Well, you’ve likely heard the rumours that social media use is bad for your health. In a blog post back in November, researchers from Facebook concluded that ‘passive’ use of the site could have a negative impact on a person’s well-being.

This latest change is a direct response to that – Facebook’s way of getting people to engage with other users rather than merely scrolling aimlessly through the News Feed.

Zuckerberg said that he wants to encourage users to communicate with one another in a meaningful way. One of the best ways to do that, of course, is to make sure that the posts people see are from other users.

Additionally, the change will mean that there’s less media influence on the site, which can only be a positive thing.

In recent years, the powers at Facebook have noticed a significant decline in ‘organic sharing’ (i.e. users telling people how they feel in statuses or sharing photos of nights out). It’s plain to see that the way in which people use the site has changed dramatically since its launch. When users see other people’s posts, though, it should lead them to share their own. Or, at least, so the theory goes.

When Will It Happen?

This isn’t the first time that Facebook has changed the algorithm in a huge way. Back in 2013, the site made efforts to prevent ‘clickbait’ and only offer users trusted news and information.

Right now, it’s not clear exactly when the changes will come into effect. It’s likely to be quite soon, though, and so it’s worth paying a little more attention to your News Feed than you usually do.

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