Facebook Inc., seeking to calm creators of articles and video after announcing a change in how their work will be promoted in its news feed, sent an email pledging to help them adapt. Stories and clips that draw comments and likes or are shared by users are more likely to be seen, Facebook said in the email obtained by Bloomberg. The company will also continue to prioritize content that users search for or return regularly to view, such as weekly video series. “We know even a small update to News Feed can be disruptive to you and your talent’s businesses, and this change will take some time to figure out,” the social network said. “As we take this journey together and focus on content that our community can connect around, we’ll work on providing you and your clients with best practices, insights, and tools to help them understand and create content that promotes these meaningful interactions on Facebook.”
Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday he’s making changes because feedback has shown that public content has been “crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.” He vowed last week to “fix” the social network after a year that saw Facebook come under sharp criticism for contributing to a climate of extreme political polarization, the distribution of fake news and escalating privacy concerns.
Both traditional and online news organizations have come to count on Facebook as a source of revenue and readers. The social network drives about 17 percent of the visits to the websites of companies participating in Digital Content Next, a group that represents publishers including Bloomberg News, CNBC, 21st Century Fox Inc. and Al Jazeera, said Jason Kint, CEO of the organization.