Facebook tweaks News Feed to promote posts from friends

A FACEBOOK update is aimed at making the timeline better at showing "the content that matters to you".

The update consists of three main changes: allowing people to see multiple posts from the same source, promoting news from people that Facebook has judged that users care about and showing less news about the fact that friends liked or commented on a post.

Facebook will now prioritise updates from people that its algorithms have judged users care about. The site said that feedback has indicated that people are worried about missing important update from friends, and that it will now push those updates to the top of the News Feed so that people are less likely to miss it.

"If you like to read news or interact with posts from pages you care about, you will still see that content in News Feed," Facebook's blogpost said. "This update tries to make the balance of content the right one for each individual person."

The site will also stop showing as many updates about people having commented or liked a post by someone that users don't follow. Previously, Facebook would show News Feed updates saying that a certain friend had "commented on a post" - and then show the entire post below - but now those updates will "appear lower down in News Feed or not at all".

Facebook has also relaxed the restrictions on showing multiple updates from the same person. Those rules have been changed so that people "who don't have a lot of content available to see" will be able to spend more time in the News Feed.

The changes could hit Pages, the profiles on the site run by official sources and businesses, since they will prioritise updates from those people that users interact with.

"The impact of these changes on your page's distribution will vary considerably depending on the composition of your audience and your posting activity," Facebook product manager Max Eulenstein and user experience researcher Lauren Scissors wrote in the blogpost announcing the changes. "In some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline."

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