Facebook is making a major change to its News Feed. In a post today from CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the social media service said it will show users more posts from friends and family, less from businesses and publishers.
The stated goal is to encourage more interaction among friends and family. The unstated goal is to lessen reliance on organic (i.e. unpaid) traffic for businesses and publishers that use the service as a tool to drive traffic. The long game is audience retention and growth, which will drive revenue.
“Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Thursday. While that may drive engagement time spent down, Zuckerberg said the move would make Facebook “more valuable.”
How this impacts content creation by businesses and brands that spend a lot of time and staffing on social media efforts may be one bit of fallout from the decision. Smaller brands without deep pockets may be seriously downgraded in News Feeds and forced to burn resources earmarked for other areas.
The reason for the changes was cited in a study the service published in which it found that those who don’t interact with Facebook are not as happy as those who frequently comment.
“We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being,” Zuckerberg continued. “The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being.”