Facing critics, Facebook wants feeds to be more 'meaningful' - KCTV5

Facing critics, Facebook wants feeds to be more 'meaningful'

Posted: Updated:

By BARBARA ORTUTAY
AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - Facebook is tweaking what people see to make their time on it more "meaningful" in a move that could hurt publishers and news organizations that rely on it to spread their content.

Facebook has said before that it will emphasize personal connections over business pages and celebrities that people follow. But the latest move represents a major shift, one intended to highlight the posts users are most likely to engage with rather than passively consume.

The company says people will likely spend less time on Facebook as a result.

The changes come as the company faces criticism that social media can make people feel depressed and isolated.

There will be fewer posts from brands, pages and media companies and more from people. There will be fewer videos, which Facebook considers "passive."

That's because even if people read such content on Facebook, they don't necessarily comment or interact with it in other ways.

"The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post Thursday.

"We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos -- even if they're entertaining or informative -- may not be as good."

The move to highlight posts that Facebook considers "meaningful" and reduce the emphasis on others could shrink the social media giant's role as a major news source for many people.

The move will not affect advertisements - users will continue to see the same ads they have before, "meaningful" or not. But businesses that use Facebook to connect with their customers without paying for ads will also feel the pain.

Facebook has long been criticized for creating "filter bubbles," the echo chambers of friends and like-minded people whose views are reinforced by their friends' posts on the platform.

The company says that's similar to how people make friends and interact with each other offline. Facebook says its research shows that users are exposed to more divergent views on its platform than they would be otherwise.

This is difficult to verify independently since the company is cautious about providing data to outsiders.

The changes come after a tough year for Facebook that included congressional hearings on how Russia used it to influence the 2016 U.S. elections. Former executives and Facebook investors have spoken out about how it and other social media sites might be hurting rather than helping society and users' psyches.

Last week, Zuckerberg said his "personal challenge" for 2018 (something he's done every year since 2009), will be to fix Facebook.

"Facebook has a lot of work to do - whether it's protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent," he wrote.

He said it wasn't possible to prevent all mistakes or abuses, but that Facebook was making too many errors in enforcing its policies and preventing misuse.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Grandview man charged with murder after woman's body found on fire near dumpster

    Grandview man charged with murder after woman's body found on fire near dumpster

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 1:41 PM EST2018-01-16 18:41:35 GMT
    Kasanova Callier, 27, has been charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of armed criminal action. (Jackson County Detention Center)Kasanova Callier, 27, has been charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of armed criminal action. (Jackson County Detention Center)

    A Grandview man has been charged with murder after a woman's body was on fire near a dumpster on Sunday. Kasanova Callier, 27, has been charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of armed criminal action.

    More >

    A Grandview man has been charged with murder after a woman's body was on fire near a dumpster on Sunday. Kasanova Callier, 27, has been charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of armed criminal action.

    More >
  • Ex-husband of Greitens' ex-lover has more tapes, gives them to FBI

    Ex-husband of Greitens' ex-lover has more tapes, gives them to FBI

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 6:58 PM EST2018-01-16 23:58:09 GMT
    Sheena Greitens, left, listens as her husband, Missouri Gov.-elect Eric Greitens, speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)Sheena Greitens, left, listens as her husband, Missouri Gov.-elect Eric Greitens, speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    he ex-husband of the woman who is alleged to have had an affair with Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has handed over more secret records to the local prosecutors and the FBI, his attorney Al Watkins told News 4 Tuesday.

    More >

    he ex-husband of the woman who is alleged to have had an affair with Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has handed over more secret records to the local prosecutors and the FBI, his attorney Al Watkins told News 4 Tuesday.

    More >
  • Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

    Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 5:06 PM EST2018-01-16 22:06:58 GMT
    (Source: CNN)(Source: CNN)

    Japan's public broadcaster mistakenly sent an alert Tuesday warning citizens of a North Korean missile launch and urging them to seek immediate shelter, then minutes later corrected it, days after a similar error in Hawaii. 

    More >

    Japan's public broadcaster mistakenly sent an alert Tuesday warning citizens of a North Korean missile launch and urging them to seek immediate shelter, then minutes later corrected it, days after a similar error in Hawaii. 

    More >
Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.