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April 22, 2015Published by: Fereshta Amir

Is this Facebookgeddon? The social network changes its News Feed algorithm to promote friends’ content

Image Credit: Fast Company

Image Credit: Fast Company

Facebook just announced yet another change to its giant platform. This particular change has our eyes peeled, as it's about tweaking its algorithm to promote content from friends.

Let's look at the three main big changes in more detail, which as outlined by Facebook product manager Max Eulenstein and user experience researcher Lauren Scissor, are:

1. Facebook users will now be able to see more than one NewsFeed post from the same source in a row. Facebook's algorithm previously prevented that. Facebook says it's "relaxing this rule" so that users who don't see much content in their feeds can start seeing more.
2. Facebook will start prioritising NewsFeed content posted by friends. "The second update tries to ensure that content posted directly by the friends you care about, such as photos, videos, status updates or links, will be higher up in News Feed so you are less likely to miss it," Facebook writes. It says you'll still see content from news organisations and Facebook pages you enjoy though.
3. Facebook will begin hiding posts that say what your friends have liked or commented on. This sounds like it could really diminish a publisher's second-hand reach. "This update will make these stories appear lower down in News Feed or not at all," Facebook says.

This is of course great news for everyone who has ever been annoyed at seeing more promoted brand content then friends' news on their News Feeds. As Fast Company reports, this could make life a little harder for brands and publishers, as traffic to brand pages could suffer as a result of the algorithm tweaks. Read the more about the changes over at Business Insider.

March 2, 2015Published by: Anton Perreau

So long, Google+

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Has the time come to bid Google+ auf wiedersehen?

It has been announced today that Google+ is being officially split into two (or more) parts, named 'Photos' and 'Streams'. The two new elements are being led by Bradley Horowitz, a longtime Google VP of Product Management.

Historically, Google+ has been useful for increasing authorship of a blog or website, focusing on SEO which Google has always had a big stake in through their majority share in the search market. Google+ also automatically backs up users' photos online, aggregates content from location pages, and acts as a contact book for Gmail. However, much of this functionality is already possible without Google+ although more social elements will probably be reduced with this change.

In an interview with Forbes last week, Sundar Pichai hinted that Google+ was being split up. Whilst Horowitz who's now heading up Google+ has confirmed rumours, Google has yet to make an official announcement on what will happen next to the social network. A big element of the social network that is now integrated into Android and Google for Work is 'Hangouts' although its future looks uncertain.

Read more about this Google+ news on The Verge.