Facebook will actually shrink – here’s what you need to know

facebook changing newsfeed
Photo: Neirfy, Bigstock

Facebook has recently announced that their goal is to maximise “meaningful” user interactions. Apparently, there will be some upcoming changes that will affect Facebook’s content.

Last Thursday, an announcement came out explaining that “meaningful” content is Facebook’s primary focus as it generates a lot of interactions, such as likes, shares and comments.

The recent decision reflects Facebook’s efforts to make users feel better and happier, as researchers have discovered that social media users tend to feel better after commenting, sharing and actively interacting with the content.

In addition, recent theories are suggesting that over the next couple of years, we will be spending less time on Facebook.

That could be due to the fact that Facebook has significantly changed, as it went from casual catching up platform to one of the most powerful digital advertising method. News feed is overwhelmed with ads and sponsored posts, and users seem to get more distant and uninterested.

Facebook’s new system might significantly affect small businesses and advertisers

It is most likely that the advertisers are the one who will suffer the most when Facebook actually starts “shrinking”. Small businesses, media companies, bloggers and online entrepreneurs heavily rely on Facebook’s News Feed to reach their targeted audience.

Shrinking the content loop and changing the overall feed strategy might lead to a significant decrease in audience outreach. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, explained that his expectations are that business pages will start to reach fewer people in the new year.

This statement was backed up with an explanation that public content should hold to the same standard and encourage user interactions. The overall goal is to promote content which draws users to interact and benefit from the content, instead of just scrolling down endlessly, while ads are popping up.

Will these changes reduce video content?

Zuckerberg also added that the company is aware that the upcoming changes will reduce engagement, however, he hopes that the users will get more value from the time they spend online. He also explained that if done correctly, this might be a good change and positive impact on businesses and Facebook community.

This might also be Facebook’s way of trying to decrease the never-ending video trend. Since the company revealed that the News Feed actually favorites video content over any other content type, advertisers, bloggers rush to develop any type of video content.

That eventually lead to an overwhelming amount of cheap video production, with similar content – lots of stock photos, stacked in a video with large captions. As a result, users often end up watching video after video, instead of interacting and chatting with friends and family, like in good, old days.

The future of the News Feed is still unknown

Head of Facebook’s News Feed, Adam Mosseri, explained that their main focus is on predicting which posts a user is most likely to interact with and list them higher, on the top of the news feed.

By giving them priority, Facebook is hoping to increase users interaction with friends. Mosseri added that that is simply the type of content that a person wants to get to know and start a discussion in the comment section.

It is too early to tell how the News feed will look like and what would be the new algorithm. Although Facebook had tried to implement similar changes in the past, their “home” page is still filled with videos, links, and news – often, fake news.

Facebook’s been under pressure to detain and remove misinformation spreading across the platform. This might be one of the reasons the company decided to re-implement algorithms and hopefully decrease propaganda and fake stories.

In addition, the popular social network has been in a center of the political scene, since it serves as one of the society’s fundamental pillars. Zuckerberg revealed the company’s plan to ensure “fair elections around the world” after recent events, where Russia was accused of interfering in US elections through Facebook.

Although the company is cooperating with US government, Zuckerberg outlined that they are constantly investigating this matter in order to find out how their tool was misused. In addition, Facebook will now make political advertising more transparent, by revealing who financed advertising campaigns and strengthening ad review process.