Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) announced a major shakeup in its News Feed last week, and investors weren’t too happy about it.
In fact, Facebook shares had their worst week in several months after CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote that the feed will soon start prioritizing “meaningful social interactions” instead of “relevant content.” In other words, posts from friends and family will appear much for frequently than news items from now on.
It’s probably a good start, but there’s reason to believe that FB should just get out of the news arena entirely. CNBC explains:
First, Facebook had already proved it isn’t capable of splitting real news from fake propaganda, though at least it says it’s working on it.
Second, it’s using news as a business model — so much so that shares fell as much as 6.1 percent this morning after the changes were announced. It sells ads and promotes content from some publishers, which means it stands to make cash off of the most popular news stories … no matter how accurate they are.
Sadly, that has led news organizations to use Facebook as a means to drive traffic, but not to create an established audience.
That sort of hit-and-run traffic isn’t all that valuable for publishers anyway. So while Facebook pushes an enormous amount of news-based traffic to some sites, it’s generally low quality traffic.
So if users aren’t benefiting from news on Facebook, and publishers’ benefits are questionable as well, why not just exit news altogether?
Facebook Inc shares closed at $179.37 on Friday, down $8.40 (-4.47%). Year-to-date, FB has gained 1.65%, versus a 4.14% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.