Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Facebook Is Updating Their Feed Rankings to Prioritize Friends

Joshua Benton of Nieman Lab:

Has your employer built its audience strategy around Facebook traffic? Welp, today’s not a good day for you. Facebook announced today it is changing its News Feed algorithm to give more weight to content and links shared by friends and family — and less weight to what publishers share.

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This is another step in the continued devaluation of large publisher followings on Facebook; the social network has over time reduced the share of your fans who see each of your posts (though they’re happy to take your ad dollars to show them to more!). Add in Instant Articles and the strong preference given to Facebook-native video and you see, once again, the primary hoarder of Internet attention consolidating its position.

I can’t help but think that this is — in part — a reaction to last month’s controversy about editorial decisions that seemingly left stories of interest to conservatives out of the Trending Topics feature. Today’s announcement is about the algorithmic News Feed, not the manually-edited Trending Topics element. Nevertheless, I see it as a way for Facebook to wash their hands of any questions about what news appears in a user’s feed because most news stories they’ll now see are those that their friends are sharing or commenting on.