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Facing critics, Facebook wants feeds to be more 'meaningful'

facebook.com/northcoastnews23/

Facebook is tweaking what people see to make their time on the site more "meaningful."

The company said people will likely spend less time on Facebook as a result. The changes come as critics have said social media can make people feel depressed and isolated.

Facebook has said before that it will emphasize personal connections over business pages and the celebrities people follow. But the latest move represents a major shift, one intended to highlight the posts users are most likely to engage with rather than passively consume.

There will be fewer posts from brands, pages and media companies and more from people. There will be fewer videos, which Facebook considers "passive."

In recent years, Facebook has added options to choose whose posts people see first and has combated "clickbait," posts they said have grabby headlines like "you won't believe what happened next" yet ultimately disappoint. Facebook also has tweaked formulas to try to boost membership in "meaningful" groups.

The latest move, announced Thursday, is designed to focus on personal connections over published articles and videos. The changes won't affect ads and will likely hurt businesses that want to reach followers without paying to advertise.

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