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Facebook Update Means More Than You Think

Facebook caused quite the stir Wednesday after it announced it will be changing its news feed algorithm to focus more on friends and family as opposed to news and media companies.

Why is this such a big deal? Well, considering over 40% of people get their news via Facebook, it means news and media outlets are probably not so happy with the social media powerhouse. Understandably so.

For years Facebook has encouraged, even pushed, publishers to rely more on social media to grow and engage with their audiences. Younger outlets like Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post were quick to embrace this request, even setting the tone in the industry on how to interact with readers on social media. Suddenly, they are no longer being met half way.

It’s a wake up call for the news industry. This is a reminder that Facebook’s number one priority is, and always will be, the end user – not publishers. Should news outlets change their priorities?

This change also has serious societal implications. People tend to interact with others that are similar to us; similar personalities, similar races, and similar views. If Facebook users are now receiving updates from mostly friends and family, it means are own viewpoints are going to be largely reenforced and not challenged. Without the challenge of differing viewpoints, it’s hard to imagine a need to move past our collective comfort zones.

Tweet at @ayymurphh and let us know what you think about Facebook’s change.

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