Longtime Facebook users know better than to get comfy with how the site looks or works, as the service’s decade of longevity has come in part due to constant refreshes—for better and for worse. The same might not be said for major news outlets who’ve grown to rely on Facebook as a source of traffic, and they may very well not care for the social network’s latest site-tweak announcement.
In a Wednesday announcement, Facebook VP of Product Management Adam Mosseri declared that the site’s algorithm would now shift towards “friends and family” content—a pledge that seems to appear every time Facebook talks about its algorithms. In today’s case, however, Mosseri tucked the announcement’s real meaning into a linked clarification: that all “pages” content would be pushed down in the general rankings. Meaning, if content is posted by a news outlet, a restaurant, or another establishment with its own “page” presence on Facebook, those posts will officially see “less of an impact.”
Neither announcement touched upon “instant article” publication, a May 2015 initiative that saw multiple major news outlets—which all range from middle- to left-leaning—ally with Facebook to have stories directly publish on the social network as opposed to being hotlinked from their original sources. However, the announcement hinted at these kinds of stories possibly being deprioritized in the future. And the reasoning isn’t hard to suss out: that whole conservative news-suppression mess from this May.