Zuckerberg: Facebook changing news feed to improve 'connections'

By Sara Shayanian  |  Jan. 12, 2018 at 7:13 AM
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Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Facebook said it's changing the formula that determines users' news feeds by decreasing business and media posts and focusing more on personal connections.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Friday the social media site wanted to ensure that users' time on Facebook is "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.

"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."

Zuckerberg said it's the company's responsibility to make sure Facebook services "aren't just fun to use, but also good for people's well-being."

With the update, Facebook plans to reduce the amount of posts seen from celebrities, businesses and publishers and focus news feeds more on status updates from friends and family to spark meaningful social interactions.

Zuckerberg said he expects the change will mean the site's 2 billion-plus users will spend less time on the social network -- especially if video content is reduced.

"Now, I want to be clear: by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down," he said. "But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too."

The Facebook CEO noted the often "passive experience" users may face when they scroll through their news feed by watching videos, reading the news or getting a page update -- instead hoping the change will provide a more "valuable" use of time interacting with others.

"At its best, Facebook has always been about personal connections," Zuckerberg said. "By focusing on bringing people closer together -- whether it's with family and friends, or around important moments in the world -- we can help make sure that Facebook is time well spent."

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