Facebook chooses friends and family over celebrities in your feed, which is probably healthy

The tweak is part of the company's news feed manifesto, which it also publicized.

For Facebook nothing is more important than keeping you engaged with your news feed. That’s why the company announced Wednesday that it would prioritize posts from your friends and family in your news feed over those from Facebook pages for celebrities, politicians, and brands. The change will roll out to all users worldwide in the coming weeks.

Facebook also took this opportunity to publicize a News Feed manifesto. It’s a set of guidelines—Facebook calls them values—that informs the company’s decisions on how best to adjust the news feed for its users, Facebook news feed chief Adam Mosseri explained. Facebook has been using these guidelines for years, Mosseri added.

Why this matters: If this all sounds familiar, it’s because Facebook made a similar announcement in April 2015. Back then Facebook wanted to strike a better balance between friend and pages content. But now it appears the company is aiming to put family and friends way ahead of everything else, which is probably as it should be.

How Facebook will prioritize your news feed

You can check out the news feed manifesto for yourself on Facebook’s site, but here are the basics:

Facebook says posts from family and friends always come first, and over time the company learns which posts from among your family and friends it should prioritize further. Additionally, Facebook believes your news feed should inform you based on your interests for hard news stories, celebrity gossip, and so on. Plus it wants to make sure your news feed entertains, because you can never get enough cat videos. In other words it won’t be completely about family and friends—you’ll still see posts from your favorite news sources and Internet memes from George Takei.

The company also says the social network should be “a platform for all ideas,” which is a clear nod to recent criticisms that Facebook was suppressing politically conservative viewpoints—unwittingly or otherwise.

Facebook goes on to explain that it strives to show you stories that you consider genuine and not clickbait. Finally, Facebook says it's always iterating on the news feed, and that it wants you to control what you see with per-post options to hide and unfollow, as well as the “see first” setting to manually rank your Facebook friends and pages.

What Facebook doesn’t mention about control is that it still won’t let you default to see the most recent posts first—a setting that is as close as Facebook gets to a Twitter-like feed that shows you everything.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Facebook

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?