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Facebook to demote business, brand and media posts in news feed shake up

Facebook is preparing the ground for a significant shift in emphasis over how its news feed operates by demoting posts by businesses, brands and media to make them less prominent.

In the weeks ahead the shift will return the social network to a more personable service which prioritises conversations taking place between friends and family, together with a corresponding decrease in popularity for global posts.

As a result publishers, particularly news outlets, are set to be badly affected with significantly less current affairs items shared by acquaintances cropping up on people’s news feeds.

Explaining his motivations for the change chief executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote: “We've gotten feedback from our community that public content - posts from businesses, brands and media - is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

Laying down the gauntlet to public content providers Zuckerberg added that such posts will only be promoted if they champion community engagement via live video feeds or discussion groups.

By his own admission Zuckerberg expects the move to have a negative impact on engagement and time spent logged in but believes that a temporary hit is worth it to enhance the wellbeing of members.

The new measure comes into play as Facebook scrabbles to deal with the rise of so called 'fake news' and a scandal involving Russian-linked agents buying up promoted posts in the run up to the US presidential elections.

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