I still need the reassurance of a familiar brand before it's a real story - Tony Maddox, CNN senior VP
SOCIAL MEDIA GIANT Facebook has revealed plans to change the emphasis of its ranking system to favour articles, which will see tired memes relegated down in its News Feed in favour of actual news.
Knowing how much the community loves it when Facebook messes with anything, it must be rather confident that it is doing the right thing. Its argument outlined on its blog is simple. More people are getting their news from Facebook, and it refers to a 170 percent increase. So it's goodbye Kitteh, hello serious news.
"Our surveys show that on average people prefer links to high quality articles about current events, their favorite sports team or shared interests, to the latest meme. Starting soon, we'll be doing a better job of distinguishing between a high quality article on a website versus a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook when people click on those stories on mobile.
This means that high quality articles you or others read may show up a bit more prominently in your News Feed, and meme photos may show up a bit less prominently."
As part of the change, Facebook will also offer up to three other links on an "if you liked that, you'll like this" basis, which will be powered by the recommendations of other like-minded users.
Finally, prominence will be afforded to stories with the freshest comments from people in your circle, on the basis that the most important thing about a news story is what your peers think you should think about it.
All in all, it sounds like a reasonable direction for Facebook. But how long it will be before the Lolcat contingent cries, "I kan haz moor meeems?" µ
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