Facebook announces overhaul of newsfeed algorithms to prioritise 'meaningful interaction'

Facebook announces overhaul of newsfeed algorithms to prioritise 'meaningful interaction'

Facebook's 2 billion users will soon see some drastic changes in their newsfeeds.

The social media site has announced that videos, posts and photos from users' family and friends will be given priority over content from media companies and brands.

The newsfeed is the cascading column of content which serves as the 'front page' of a user's Facebook account.

The changes mean you can now expect to see posts that are closer to home, such as photos posted by your parents or engaged with by your friends.

Facebook said its intention is to promote "meaningful interaction" on the site, with David Ginsberg, director of research at Facebook telling the New York Times: "When people are engaging with people they're close to, it's more meaningful, more fulfilling... it's good for your wellbeing."

The move could send shivers through companies that rely on Facebook engagement for their business, and Facebook has acknowledged that there is likely to be "anxiety" in the economic community regarding its move.

The shake up follows increasing concern over the effect of Facebook on users' mental health, with strong evidence suggesting that heavy social media use may be linked to depression and anxiety.

Facebook also came under fire in 2017 for its role in creating 'echo chambers' in which people are only exposed to content that reaffirms their beliefs, as well as for providing a platform for 'fake news' content.

Mr Zuckerberg said in a statement on Thursday:

"This big wave of public content has really made us reflect: What are we really here to do? If what we're here to do is help people build relationships, then we need to adjust."