We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #383

Facebook makes shock change to news feed to prioritise well-being
Mark Zuckerberg has made his new year’s resolution to fix Facebook, and his first step is to change the news feed algorithm to prioritise posts which spark comments between users. This, he admits, will mean a decrease in airtime for news outlets and ads from brands and will almost certainly lead to spending less time on Facebook (but the time users do spend will be of a higher quality). See our view on it in more detail here.

Facebook tests local news section
Facebook is trialling a section on the social network, Today In, which focuses on news, events and announcements from your local area. At the moment it’s running in just six cities in the US: New Orleans, Little Rock, Billings, Peoria, Olympia, and Binghamton. Users will only see the local news if they list themselves as living in that area and local news publishers who appear there will all be approved and vetted by the company’s News Partnerships team.

Poor M. She was the hybrid human/artificial digital assistant which Facebook launched in 2015 to take on Siri. She started in Beta, and in Beta she will now stay. All she wanted to do was help you shop for baby gifts, or find you a dinner reservation, was that so bad? She’s now been demoted. New title? Head of sticker recommendations.

Facebook’s new video calling device to be called Portal
Facebook is said to be developing a new hardware product called Portal to take on the likes of the Amazon Echo Show. It’s predicted to hit the shelves in the second half of 2018 and retail for $498. Portal will be the first hardware device to come from Facebook’s hardware arm Building 8, with critics already claiming it will be hard for it catch up with rivals with little to no experience in this field.