In a Facebook post on Thursday evening, Zuckerberg wrote that there will be several changes made to the site over the next few months. The first changes will be in Facebook’s News Feed, where users will see more content from friends and family instead of businesses and brands.
“Since there's more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what's in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do -- help us connect with each other,” wrote Zuckerberg.
According to Zuckerberg, these changes are in response to user’s complaints that their News Feed has become overcrowded with public content.
Head of News Feed Adam Mosseri went into more detail about the exact updates in a statement, explaining that Facebook will predict which posts users might want to interact with their friends about, and show these posts higher in News Feed.
“[Prioritized posts] are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to- whether that’s a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion.” said Mosseri.
The same concept applies for posts from individual pages. Page posts that generate conversation will be placed higher in News Feed, according to Mosseri.
“For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook,” said Mosseri. “Local businesses connect with their communities by posting relevant updates and creating events. And news can help start conversations on important issues.”
Facebook will also show fewer videos from publishers and businesses, which may have an impact on pages with posts that people don’t generally react to or comment on, according to Mosseri.
According to Zuckerberg, Facebook has conducted research showing that connecting with people through social media can be good for the user’s well-being.
“We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health,” Zuckerberg wrote. “On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos -- even if they're entertaining or informative -- may not be as good.
“Facebook has always been about personal connections,” Zuckerberg added. “By focusing on bringing people closer together -- whether it's with family and friends, or around important moments in the world -- we can help make sure that Facebook is time well spent.”