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Mind the Tech NYC

ABC News Undaunted by Facebook Feed Changes, Executive Says

The Facebook algorithm was tweaked to benefit content that is reliable and engaging, says Doug Vance, ABC News’ vice president of product

Meir Orbach 08:1416.03.18
News publishers that provide reliable, engaging content will continue to find Facebook a hospitable platform even despite changes to the way the social media feed works, said Doug Vance, ABC News’s vice president for product, in a talk at Calcalist’s Mind the Tech conference this week.

 

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“With regard to Facebook, they are looking for news that is authoritative, trustworthy, and engaging,” Mr. Vance said in a response to a question from interviewer Shachar Orren, who is an executive for Playbuzz, a startup that develops software to help marketers and publishers make content interactive.

 


“If you are a publisher and you can keep those three aspects in mind you might be surprised by how much you’ll be impacted by the new Facebook algorithm change.” Mr. Vance said.

 

Ms. Orren pressed him again, saying that Facebook is putting emphasis again on posts shared by individuals rather than publishers.

 

“It makes it incumbent on us to create news that users on Facebook will want to share,” Mr. Vance said. “It’s changing how we have to think about the formats of news. The old days of just writing a couple paragraphs and publishing through a traditional CMS (content management system) are gone or are dying quickly. We are constantly looking at new formats and at ways to encourage people to have conversations with their family and friends about the news.”

 

The interview moved to the specific types of technologies that publishers are using to reach people. Ms. Orren asked about tactics ABC uses to rise above the stream of content competing for attention.

 

“VR is one example of many to innovate in the newsroom,” Mr. Vance said. “In the news space, we have been thinking about using VR and AR to bring people to places that they otherwise may not have been able to get to.”

 

He also discussed the “exciting” potential of voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.
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