Facebook share price hit by news feed changes

Facebook’s stock price fell by more than 4 per cent on Friday after CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s admission that changes announced to the way its news feed works would negatively impact user engagement in the short term.

Zuckerberg said on Thursday that Facebook would start to deprioritise content from publishers and brands, in favour of that from users’ friends and family. Facebook’s share price fell by $8.39 (£6.10) to $179.37 at the close of trading on Friday.

Despite the negative market reaction, the move could ultimately benefit Facebook since brands and publishers will have less opportunity to surface content organically, meaning that increasingly, the only way to get themselves into the news feed will be to pay to advertise.

Facebook’s news feed move was seen as a response from the company to criticism it has faced over the past 12 months for its failure to prevent hate speech and abuse on its platform, and for the sheer power and influence it wields over society.