Because “There’s too much sensationalism, misinformation, and polarization in the world today,” Mark Zuckerberg said, users’ newsfeeds will now prioritize meaningful social interactions over relevant content. It will be a major overhaul to change the feed after Facebook was called out on spreading false news from untrustworthy sources during the 2016 presidential election.
Zuckerberg thinks the solution is to have the “community determine which sources are broadly trusted.”
What you want more of. Maybe.
So, Facebook intends to give less priority to news articles, posts from brands, pages you like, and crazy viral videos (aka bait click). What you’ll likely see more of is your neighbor’s gardening/dinner/vacation pictures, news about that fabulous party you weren’t invited to, and your high school friend’s political opinions.
“To do this, we will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed,” says Adam Mosseri, the head of Facebook’s News Feed team. That sounds creepy, but what it means is an algorithm takes account of your likes, comments and shares, and acts accordingly.
I guess we should act accordingly with what we like.
The debate over what’s better for you
Apparently Facebook wants to make you feel better.
Facebook believes passive consumption of information — surfing, shopping websites, perusing silly videos — can negatively affect your mood.
However, A 2016 study published in Current Opinion in Psychology found that social media increases negative comparisons. The more people scroll through others’ happy status updates, exciting vacation photos and beautiful family moments, the worse they feel. Many people feel a mood slump after scrolling Facebook. Studies show they also feel as if they’ve wasted time.
According to a 2014 study published in Computers in Human Behavior, “People don’t experience the same emotional decline when they surf the Internet. The toll on mental health is unique to Facebook.”
What I look for
I admit certain feel-good posts exhaust me, especially those that are repetitive: “Look at my beautiful life. Here’s more of my beautiful life….” It’s not that I don’t think this person’s life isn’t beautiful, but after a point it seems self-indulgent.
I like to read mini-stories from my friends: How a vacation made them feel. Their reaction to the news, and why. A philosophical quote that made them think. How a family member inspired them. Changes they’re making in their life. Questions. Surprises. Jokes. Human interest stories. Vacation photos from unique places I may never travel to.
What do you look for? Do you ever get the Facebook blues?
Concerning these upcoming changes, here’s a notable headline: “The Future of Social Media Marketing Depends on How Zuckerberg Chooses to Regulate Influencers” (Forbes).
I wonder if Facebook Author pages might be relegated to the dust bin of social media after these new changes. Will we have to pay to get followers to see our posts?
Apparently quality engagement matters. Mosseri says: “Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”
It’s up to you to make your business page stand out. So that means we authors have to work even harder.
What about you?
Do you see these changes as a positive or negative thing?
Keep in mind, if you still want to see posts from your favorite brands and/or publishers, there are options under the News Feed tab on Facebook so you can prioritize the pages that you are most interested in. Whatever or whoever you interact with by liking and commenting affects what you see. You can also unfollow people without unfriending them, or snooze people and pages.
You can basically tailor your feed yourself so that it makes you happy. It takes time and a certain amount of tweaking, but it can be done.
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of the award-winning novel In the Context of Love, a story about one woman’s need to tell the truth without shame.
Angelica had always suspected there was something deeply disturbing about her family, but the truth was more than she bargained for.
Sarton Women’s Fiction Finalist
Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist
Readers’ Favorite Finalist
USA Book News Best Book Finalist
Great Midwest Book Fest Honorable Mention.
“…at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River,and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters