Facebook’s chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg says the social network is making a major change that will see it shifting users’ news feeds back toward posts from friends and family and away from businesses.
“One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.
“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness,” Zuckerberg said in a post.
“But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content – posts from businesses, brands and media – is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”
The CEO said that video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years. “Since there’s more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what’s in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do – help us connect with each other.
“We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being. So we’ve studied this trend carefully by looking at the academic research and doing our own research with leading experts at universities,” he said.
Facebook said that research shows that when users connect with people they care about, it can be good for their well-being. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos – even if they’re entertaining or informative – may not be as good, Zuckerberg said.
“Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. 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.
“We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.
“As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people,” Zuckerberg said.