According to AllThingsD, Facebook has announced that it will be tweaking its News Feed in order to deliver more 'high quality' content by pushing down things like 'meme photos’ making them harder to see.
Google had adopted a similar move in 2011 when it changed its page rankings to punish spammers and 'content farms' that showed up high in search results but delivered crummy pages. The move, called “Panda”, block some content makers like Demand Media.
Some publishers are apparently worried Facebook’s latest plans will be their “Panda”.
Facebook’s News Feed manager Lars Backstorm said “We don’t really think about it that much in terms of promoting and demoting certain kinds of content. The way we think about it is that we’re doing a better job of identifying value”.
Backstorm also said that before planning the change, a lot of people were surveyed about which of which of those things they get more value from and found that people enjoyed cat photos but valuable articles enriched their life more.
When he was asked if the site was focusing on the content or the source, Backstorm said that initially they will be mostly targeting the source so as to distinguish between different types of content and identifying the 'high quality' content will be based at the source level.
Facebook doesn't aim to completely remove the cute photos that users can't help sharing or 'liking', but the site does intend to cut down on their frequency of appearance in the feed.
Backstorm said that the goal is to provide user value and to make Facebook as personalized as possible by giving users what they really want to see.