Facebook plans major changes to news feed from media and businesses to focus on personal interactions, which may lead to people spending less time on the website, its CEO said Thursday.
Facebook said today it will tweak the algorithms that control content in users' news feeds to show more things that have been shared by friends and family, and less content from advertisers and publishers.
President Mark Zuckerberg composed on Facebook today, "I'm changing the objective I give our item groups from concentrating on helping you find applicable substance to helping you have more important social cooperations".
"I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable", he wrote. And many publishers have already noticed a decrease in organic Facebook traffic over the past year or so.
Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to devote 2018 to "fixing" Facebook. Adam Mosseri, vice president of product management at Facebook, who is responsible for running the News Feed, acknowledged that "there will be anxiety" from partners and publishers who often complain about the constantly shifting goal posts of what will be shown across the network.
"The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being", Zuckerberg said.
Facebook and other researchers have particularly homed in on passive content.
Early Facebook executive and former vice president of growth, Chamath Palihapitiya, also accused Facebook of creating "short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops" that are "destroying how society works".
Facebook users can expect to see more posts from their friends and family in their News Feeds in the coming months, the company announced today. He has said his resolution this year was to fix Facebook, and it looks like he sees this as a step in that direction. A big part of that effort would be "making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent", he said.
"They're breaking the bad news one by one", one unnamed source told that outlet. A long comment on a family member's photo, for instance, might be highlighted in the News Feed above a video with fewer comments or fewer interactions between people. It's not clear how Facebook's latest change will affect those of you who've chosen that option, but it's worth a try.
"We continue to think video is a great format to share what's going on in your life with friends", Hegeman said.