January 13, 2018, 10:00 am
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has made what seems like a statement of intent in Facebook’s alleged battle against fake news. “I'm changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions," Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page. In other words, expect changes on your Facebook NewsFeed.
After facing flak from various quarters, we have seen the social media giant reiterate its commitment in is fighting fake news and what algorithms it is using to bring more relevant posts on top. There have been a host of updates made by Facebook in the past six months. Here are top 10 ‘notable’ changes Facebook has made in its News Feed in the past six months.
This is the newest announcement by the company CEO in a post on Facebook. He added that the news feed will be reducing the amount of non-advertising content from publishers and brands in the news feed."Some news helps start conversations on important issues. But too often today, watching video, reading news or getting a page update is just a passive experience," he said.
In the past six month, Facebook started testing the popular Stories feature on its desktop version. The feature was until then limited to its photo-sharing platform, Instagram. Stories, as we know by now, are placed at the top on the news feed. The social media platform has brought several stickers and other features for its Stories.
Facebook has made several changes in the news feed of users in order to curb fake news or clickbaity news. Working on the same lines, the social media firm announced last year that it will be down ranking clickbaiting videos, specifically those that show a fake play button in their thumbnail.
In the past six months we have also seen Facebook demote engagement bait posts. These include posts that ask users to ‘Like’ if they agree and ‘Comment’ if they don’t. The social networking giant said that this will include posts coming both from people as well as pages.
Facebook introduced ‘Trust Indicators’ in November last year. The tool lets users read information about the media organization of that story. They can share information including their ethics policy, corrections policy, fact-checking policy, ownership structure, and masthead, said Facebook in a blog post.
Facebook also changed the shape of user’s profile picture from square to circle. It also made minor changes across the platform, one of which was making comments appear in a bubble-like design. It also nixed the blue bar on top from posts.
Facebook also launched a new feature called 'Snooze'. The feature aims to give users better control over their newsfeed and notifications alerts. With this, users can temporarily unfollow a person, page or a group for 30 days.
The social media firm split its news feed in two section. While one of them highlighted the posts coming from friends and family, the other one was meant for advertisements and publishers. The firm has not yet officially rolled out this feature to everyone.
The company not only focussed on its users but also on advertisers, giving them a click-to-Whatsapp button. The button, as expected let users directly jump to the advertised company’s WhatsApp chat when tapped.
‘In Today’ the most recent feature added by Facebook that was spotted testing in select cities across the globe. The new section solely focuses on local news, events and announcements from authentic news sources.