22/04/2015 4:16 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Facebook Tweaks News Feed, Puts Friends Before Pages

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Thursday, March 7, 2013. Zuckerberg on Thursday unveiled a new look for the social network's News Feed, the place where its 1 billion users congregate to see what's happening with their friends, family and favorite businesses.(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Facebook rolled out three big changes to their News Feed algorithm yesterday that could widely impact the reach and referral traffic generated by pages managed by brands and publishers.

In a post published Tuesday, Max Eulenstein, product manager and Lauren Scissors, user experience researcher at Facebook explained the changes and warned of a potential decline in post reach and referral traffic.

The first change to the Facebook News Feed lets you see more posts from the same source. “Previously, we had rules in place to prevent you from seeing multiple posts from the same source in a row. With this update, we are relaxing this rule.” Eulenstein and Scissors wrote.

The News Feed will now prioritise content posted by your friends over those posted by Facebook pages. “This update tries to make the balance of content the right one for each individual person.“ they said.

Thirdly, status updates on friends liking or commenting on a post will be de-emphasised.

The changes could further drive down traffic to news publishers, who have seen a major decline in Facebook referral traffic since February 2015, according to social media analytics firm Newswhip.

Facebook was reportedly in talks with media companies in March about hosting their content inside Facebook, NY Times reported.

Facebook pages have had their overall reach throttled since late 2013, requiring social media managers to boost their post to reach fans who have liked the page.

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