Mark Zuckerberg posted about Facebook changes. It's already cost him $4.5b

BBC Minute: On Facebook's News Feed

Facebook does say that some Pages and public content will lose some traffic, as these posts will not appear as frequently as before in a user's feed. In this charged atmosphere, agents working for a Kremlin-linked company, the Internet Research Agency, disseminated content that reached an estimated 126 million users in the United States in 2016, Facebook revealed to Congress during hearings on the matter past year.

"Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we'll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses". "As we take this journey together and focus on content that our community can connect around, we'll work on providing you and your clients with best practices, insights, and tools to help them understand and create content that promotes these meaningful interactions on Facebook".

Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg has said that bringing people together and strengthening communities in the real world are priorities. Last year, Facebook disclosed that Russian agents had used the social network to spread divisive and inflammatory posts and ads to polarize the US electorate. If a relative or friend posts a link with an inaccurate news article that is widely commented on, that post will still be prominently displayed. He says that his new year resolution to "fix Facebook" might cost him user-time on Facebook but would entrust a more valuable role to this form of social media.

The Silicon Valley company constantly experiments with what shows up in the News Feed and in the past has also said it would prioritize posts from users' friends and family.

Facebook obviously believes most of its users enjoy keeping up with what's happening in their social circles, even if the material being shared mostly revolves around parties, vacations and other fun times while omitting life's inevitable challenges and tedium.

"As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media", Zuckerberg said in a post on his Facebook page.

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Many news organizations, bloggers and businesses have grown reliant on Facebook to spread information - articles, videos, infomercials - to their followers without paying for ads.

Facebook has been under fire for months over what it shows people and whether its site has negatively influenced millions of its users. "It reads as something that will drive up engagement and probably push away policy risk, because they're not allowing news properties to have the same sort of presence in their feeds".

So what does this mean for what you'll see when you scroll through your news feed in the future?

That said, company says this is how people make friends and interact with each other offline. So will the publishers of fake news get a leg up on legitimate outlets? Zuckerberg already signaled this would happen late a year ago, when he said the company's planned investments in preventing abuse would hurt profitability.

Admitting that its changes will likely reduce the time people spend on Facebook less was a big deal for the company. Teenagers are particularly prone to "Facebook depression" as they try to measure up to and fit in with their peers, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

He added, though, that the prevalence of short-form news clips may make way for longer-form footage, adding: "One of the things we will see is a lot more viral video and less viral clickbait".

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But Zuckerberg and Facebook are no longer happy with the way Facebook is used right now to disseminate content and the fact that he's announcing a significant makeover should not go unnoticed.

"This big wave of public content has really made us reflect: What are we really here to do?"

"No matter how well we do on Facebook and how great our videos are, making high-quality videos itself does not bring us any profit", said Cho.

As CNN commented, "With more than two billion monthly users, any change Facebook makes can be a seismic event". I'm changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.

Facebook said the changes will start rolling out within the next couple of months.

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