Facebook caused quite the stir WednesdayÂ after it announced it will beÂ changing its news feed algorithm to focus more on friends and familyÂ as opposed to news and media companies.
Why is this such a big deal? Well, considering over 40% of people getÂ their news via Facebook, it means news and media outletsÂ 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 toneÂ in the industry on how to interact with readersÂ on social media. Suddenly, they are no longer being met half way.
It’s aÂ wake up call for the news industry. This isÂ 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 alsoÂ has serious societal implications. People tend to interact with othersÂ that are similar to us; similar personalities, similar races, and similar views.Â If Facebook users are now receiving updates from mostlyÂ friends and family, it means are own viewpointsÂ are going to be largelyÂ reenforcedÂ and not challenged.Â 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.