Facebook will be updating its news feed which will prioritize news content by publishers a group of Facebook users have deemed trustworthy. Facebook Head of News Feed Adam Mosseri said the company surveyed “a diverse and representative sample” of U.S.-based people about their familiarity and trust in various sources of news, he wrote in a blog post.
Mosseri says that this data will serve to inform News feed rankings. That means starting next week, “publications deemed trustworthy by people using Facebook may see an increase in their distribution,” Mosseri wrote. “Publications that do not score highly as trusted by the community may see a decrease.”
Facebook will now ask people if they’re familiar with the news source and whether they trust it or not.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg provided a bit more detail about the thinking behind it in a post:
“The idea is that some news organizations are only trusted by their readers or watchers, and others are broadly trusted across society even by those who don’t follow them directly,” Zuckerberg wrote. “(We eliminate from the sample those who aren’t familiar with a source, so the output is a ratio of those who trust the source to those who are familiar with it.)”
This step by Facebook will “..encourage meaningful social interactions with family and friends over passive consumption,” Zuckerberg added.
Last week, Facebook announced major changes to News Feed, which entails less public content, like news and nonsense from brands.
Facebook also now expects news and other public content to make up four percent, instead of about five percent, of content in the News Feed, Zuckerberg said. While the amount of public content you see will be less than before, Zuckerberg says the update won’t change the amount of news you see.
“It will only shift the balance of news you see towards sources that are determined to be trusted by the community,” Zuckerberg wrote. “My hope is that this update about trusted news and last week’s update about meaningful interactions will help make time on Facebook time well spent: where we’re strengthening our relationships, engaging in active conversations rather than passive consumption, and, when we read news, making sure it’s from high quality and trusted sources.