Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday that Facebook will revamp its News Feed content ranking algorithm to prioritize updates from friends and family members.
"It's easy to understand how we got here. Video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years," Zuckerberg said. "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."
Zuckerberg says the company started work on this update last year but changes will be rolling out in the coming weeks, as engineers tweak the News Feed algorithm.
Both Zuckerberg and Facebook Head of News Feed Adam Mosseri said the company expects to see the time people spend on Facebook go down, as well as some engagement metrics (likes, shares, post views, etc.).
The two also warned that Facebook Page owners, which are mostly businesses and news publishers, will see page reach, video watch time, and referral traffic decrease.
Common sense says that Facebook will lose money on this move, as it decreases the time and engagement on the site, hence reducing advertising revenue.
The move comes after three years ago, the company announced it would prioritize putting more videos and breaking news stories in people's browsers, a move that many say has alienated the social network's core userbase by transforming Facebook from a place of social interactions into a news aggregator and video platform optimized for ad delivery, rather than meaningful interactions.
The move to surface more personal content on people's news feeds also comes as Facebook is often pegged as the main source of fake news and political propaganda, news that reach users primarily to Facebook's current algorithm of surfacing news, videos, and other breaking news content.
Several surveys over the past year have repeatedly shown that younger generations often considered Snapchat, Instagram, or WhatsApp a better place to interact and keep up with friends.