Facebook Overhauls Its News Feed to Improve User "Well-Being"

The tech giant wants to “help people stay connected” and “encourage meaningful interactions.”

Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

In a post on the platform, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social media giant plans to change its algorithm in ways that will prioritize its users’ well-being, in part by making Facebook usage a more active experience. It’s a sign of how much the conversation about technology has changed that Facebook, with over 2 billion users, feels the need to do this.

With the changes, Zuckerberg says, “you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups” and “you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.”

In a blog post following Zuckerberg’s announcement, Facebook’s Head of News Feed Adam Mosseri explains, “Over the next few months, we’ll be making updates to ranking so people have more opportunities to interact with the people they care about.”

This decision comes shortly after Facebook acknowledged in a blog post that “passively consuming” information on your News Feed can be bad for your mental well-being.

“The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being,” says Zuckerberg, explaining in his post that this research is the basis for the “major change” to Facebook’s algorithm.

Earlier this year, Thrive Global reported that the best apps for user happiness are generally those that most users spend very little time on, such as Google Calendar and Waze. They are usually apps that either help people manage their daily lives or connect them to people they’re close to. Facebook’s attempt to refocus on why it was built—“to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us,” according to Zuckerberg—aligns with these findings.

In Zuckerberg’s words, “We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people's well-being.” Hopefully, Facebook’s decision will prompt other major corporations and platforms to feel this responsibility and pave the way for a greater focus on user well-being throughout social media.

Read more from Facebook here

Well-Being, Social Media, Technology

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