Facebook all set to alter its News Feed

Facebook announced Monday that it’s going to put more local news in users’ news feeds as part of an ongoing campaign to make users “happier.”

The company released the stat today while reporting earnings for its fourth quarter of 2017.

This move will also help reduce the spread of misinformation on pages that are created to mimic local news stories.

Zuckerberg said the update to News Feed algorithms is part of his company's plan to provide a platform that "isn't just fun but also good for your well-being and for society".

Last quarter, the company started showing fewer viral videos, he said. "By focusing on meaningful connections, our community and business will be stronger over the long term".

Wall Street was expecting Facebook to report revenue of $12.5 billion and profit of $1.94 per share.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg called 2017 "a strong year. but. also a hard one".

Sales hit almost $13 billion for the quarter, an increase of 47% from the same period a year earlier. He cited the need to "protect our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states" and "making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent". This change is one of the many signals that go into News Feed ranking.

To sum up the recent changes to News Feed - it plays right into radio's local strength: more friends, more conversation, more local news + content.

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Facebook explained in a statement that it identifies local news sources as outlets who get almost all of their traffic from "readers in a tight geographic area", which means the news feed will not prioritize local stories published by national or global outlets.

The tech firm, which has been under pressure to do more to combat misinformation and offensive posts, has been grappling with criticism that social media is tearing people apart rather than bringing them closer together. Its total user growth was up 14 percent over the same period a year ago, to 2.13 billion users, about what was expected. Monthly active users were 2.13 billion, compared to 1.86 billion 12 months earlier.

Facebook attributed the decline to product changes, but executives noted they don't think that trend will continue.

The company will however, reduce the amount of news in the "News Feed" from about five percent to four percent.

The 33-year-old is again warning investors that it's going to take time to heal the News Feed, making it a better place for you and for me - and then eventually, he hopes, advertisers and businesses.

Facebook also reported its first-ever decline in daily users in the USA and Canada.

Despite beating analyst expectations, Facebook's stock still slid by 5 percent in after-hours trading following its earnings report.

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