Menlo Park: Zuckerberg said late on Thursday the world’s largest social network would adjust its centerpiece News Feed to prioritize what friends and family share, while reducing the amount of non-advertising content from publishers and brands.
A warning by Zuckerberg that people could spend less time on Facebook in the short term as a result of the changes sent the company’s stock $8.29 lower to $179.47. Shares of Facebook Inc fell more than 4 percent on Friday and were on track for their worst session in more than three months after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced changes that he said would hit user engagement in the near term.
The change announced by Zuckerberg follows criticism that Facebook’s algorithms may have prioritized misleading news and misinformation in people’s feeds, influencing the 2016 American presidential election as well as political discourse in other countries. Facebook said its new ranking system would hurt non-advertising content from publishers and brands, like news stories and viral video posts, but not change the ranking of advertising that has been paid for.
That will leave businesses that want publicity on Facebook no choice but to spend more on advertising, and as a result prices will climb, predicted Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, which advises corporate brands on social media.