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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg change of heart just cost him $3.3 billion

13 January 2018

"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", he said.

Last week, Zuckerberg said his "personal challenge" for 2018 (something he's done every year since 2009), will be to fix Facebook.

The move will prevent businesses from being able to direct traffic to their website, which, analysts say, will negatively impact their ability to generate advertising revenue.

Facebook has previously been criticised for algorithms that may have prioritized misleading news and misinformation in people's feeds.

There have also been complaints that the news feed - a stream of messages, photographs and videos - increasingly features posts from companies rather than friends.

The move is an attempt to make time spent on the platform "more meaningful" for its more than two billion members, founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on the site.

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The changes promised aren't entirely new - Facebook has been shifting the content on its news feed toward posts from friends and family and away from brands and publications for more than a year.

We understand where Facebook is coming from.

We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren't just fun to use, but also good for people's well-being. Later in the post, he does mention academic research and Facebook's research with leading experts at universities without really going into it.

A recent article in Perspectives on Psychological Science concluded that already lonely people who use Facebook and other social media as a substitute for real-life relationships tend to end up feeling more isolated.

While the changes could hurt Facebook's business in the short term, happier users could make for better profits over the long term.

In September, in another blow for the social network, ProPublica reported that Facebook's ad-buying platform could be used to deliver ads to users who identify as anti-Semites.

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The goal of the product teams will be to help Facebook's users find content that will lead to more meaningful social interactions, he said. Since then, annual sales have soared from US$5.1 billion to an estimated US$40.2 billion previous year - and the news feed has become increasingly crowded with advertisements and posts from brands and publications. The first changes you'll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.

To try to keep you glued to Facebook, it regularly updates the formula that decides what posts you see.

"And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard - it should encourage meaningful interactions between people". We've seen people interact way more around live videos than regular ones. But too often today, watching video, reading news or getting a page update is just a passive experience.

Shares of Facebook fell more than 4 per cent on Friday and were on track for their worst session in more than three months after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced changes that he said would hit user engagement in the near term.

That will leave businesses that want publicity on Facebook no choice but to spend more on advertising, and as a result prices will climb, predicted Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, which advises corporate brands on social media.

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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg change of heart just cost him $3.3 billion