Monday, September 28, 2020

Facebook Makes Major Change to the News Feed

that will show you more content from friends and family and less from publishers

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An evacuated Lincoln City sits dark and intact

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facebook makes major change

Here we go Lincoln City: Facebook said on Thursday that it will start to show users more posts from their friends and family in the News Feed, a move that means people will see fewer posts from publishers and brands.

According to Facebook, the move is designed to encourage people to interact more with the stuff that they actually do see. The thinking is that you’re probably more likely to comment and discuss a post shared from a Lincoln City family member than one shared by a business you follow.

“Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Thursday.

Then he added something else surprising: Facebook expects the change will mean that people will spend less time using the service.

“Now, I want to be clear: by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” he wrote. “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.”

The announcement is huge for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s bad news for publishers who rely on Facebook for traffic, or a business who uses it as a form of organic marketing. Facebook is very clearly telling these businesses their content won’t spread as far in News Feed, and many publishers spend lots of time and resources creating stuff intended to do just that.
  • Facebook admitting that people will likely spend less time on Facebook has to be sour news for investors. The more time people spend on Facebook, the more ads they consume, and the more money Facebook can make. Less time, at least on paper, seems like it will correlate to less revenue.

For years, critics have blasted Facebook for reinforcing ideologies by showing users content and viewpoints they already agree with, creating a bubble mentality that some believe helped fuel the rise of certain hate groups such as the alt-right. Agents of Russia capitalized on this dynamic and used Facebook (as well as other outlets like Twitter and YouTube) to sow unrest in an attempt to manipulate the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.

It’s unclear, however, if these latest changes to News Feed would stem the spread of fake news, since users will still be able to share links to stories from almost any place, including conspiracy sites.

But Facebook says the reason for these changes come from a study it published last month, which found that people who aimlessly scroll through News Feed without interacting with the stuff that they see walked away feeling crummy.

The changes rolling out now are intended to encourage people to interact, which would theoretically help them walk away feeling less crummy.

“We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being,” Zuckerberg continued. “The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being.”

In other words, Facebook believes that it’s sacrificing short-term gain (more time spent) for long-term gain (happier users who will come back more often).

It’s a big gamble, in part because Facebook is bound to alienate a major set of users: Publishers that create a lot of the free content that appears on Facebook. The social network has a reputation for jerking these publishers around by routinely changing the algorithm, which in turn means publishers need to change the kind of stuff they make and share on the service.

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Justin Werner
Justin Wernerhttps://wernerhost.com/
Justin Werner is founder and publisher of Lincoln City Homepage and a journalist reporting news for the fine citizens of Lincoln City, Oregon and beyond. He's on a mission to seek out truth and isn't afraid to be the tip of the spear for freedom of the press. When he's not wearing his reporter hat, you can find him enjoying the Oregon Coast with his wife and three children.

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Re-elect Claire Hall to the Lincoln County Commission

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Amy Ryan Courser blasts do-nothing politicians for wildfire negligence

Heads should roll on Nov. 3 for slipshod forest policies that changed Oregon into a tinderbox waiting for a spark, declared a contender for Congress who is turning the U.S. 5th District into a hot seat. 

Re-elect Claire Hall to the Lincoln County Commission

I have known Claire Hall for over thirty years. We met in the late 1980s while she was a broadcast journalist and I was a deputy district attorney for Lincoln County.

Lincoln City man shoots self in groin at checkout

Lincoln City Police responded to McKay's Market Sunday for a reported gunshot wound, discovering a man had accidentally shot himself in the groin.

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Lincoln City government issued an update Thursday on wildfires north of the city, saying all evacuation orders are still in effect and residents are not allowed in the area.

Echo Mountain Complex: 293 homes destroyed, Zero fatalities

Officials with the Echo Mountain Complex have completed preliminary structural damage assessments in the fire area and 293 residential structures have been determined to be a total loss.

Depoe Bay resident boosts Portland Police morale with gift bags

A Depoe Bay woman recently organized delivery of gift bags to an embattled Portland Police Bureau, who have been the target of attacks by rioters in the City of Roses.
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Echo Mountain Wildfire: As it happened

The following footage, filmed as the Echo Mountain Complex Wildfire was just getting started, shows Otis, Oregon residents displaced from their homes and culminates in the evacuation of NE East Devils Lake Road.

Evacuations in effect for Lincoln City

A level 3 evacuation is in effect for all of Lincoln City from 40th street north. Level 3 means go now.

Lincoln County burn ban to remain in effect

Lincoln County's seasonal burn ban will remain in effect until weather conditions improve dramatically the Fire Defense Board and Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) announced Monday.