What Has Changed With Facebook So Far In 2016

Facebook, the social media giant that we all know and love (and maybe love to hate) is now more than 10 years old, as popular as ever, and shows few signs of stopping. And while the virtual service serves a similar purpose to what it did all that time ago, it looks completely different today thanks to the changes it makes every year. When Facebook makes a change to its website, there’s sometimes an uproar, but the changes made in 2016 allow for fun and new ways to participate in the network. Here are some of the biggest changes Facebook has undergone so far in 2016.

Give More Accurate Feedback With Reactions

The most noticeable change Facebook has recently made to its site is one that you should already be familiar with, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or otherwise ignoring your Facebook feed. After years of users wishing for a “dislike” button, Facebook now lets you pick from five additional emotions to respond to a post. Users can now “love,” “haha,” “yay,” “wow,” “sad,” or “angry” a post. No more awkwardly liking your friend’s bad news to show support.

Hidden Basketball Game in Messenger

Woman-on-Her-PhoneWhile this new Facebook feature doesn’t change the fundamentals of the site, it is a bit of fun. Introduced in time for March Madness, you can access #MessengerMadness by sending your friends a basketball emoji and then clicking on it. A basketball game will pop up, letting you compete with your friends to see who can shoot the most hoops. Good luck not getting addicted to this simple, yet oddly satisfying, game.

Greater Focus On 360 Videos

While Facebook’s “360 videos” aren’t exactly new in 2016, the site has been making greater pushes to feature this new form of content. The first 360 video to really go viral was last year’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” promotional video, which put you in the cockpit of a landspeeder racing across an alien world. Since then, more companies have jumped on the 360 bandwagon, such as the New York Times offering innovative news stories in this format. Facebook even has an official page to promote all the 360 videos that are shared on its website. And with the company having acquired virtual reality pioneer Oculus, you can expect greater pushes into the exciting new medium.

An Updated Algorithm – Again

Facebook’s algorithms are essential to how your news feed is organized – they’re the bits of code that decide which posts you should see first (or at all). Although Facebook’s algorithm changes happen somewhat frequently, they usually don’t make big news, although they do fundamentally change the way you interact with the site. The most recent update happened early in the year; news feeds now take preference for posts from your human friends and family over posts from businesses. While this is great for users who want to see more personal posts, businesses will have to work harder to reach the users they were getting to before.

What’s next for Facebook? While the company will surely keep communication as its top priority, we can see that it’s also branching out into different avenues. One thing’s for sure – Facebook will do what it needs to do to remain the world’s number-one social network.

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