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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

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

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?