Source: USA Today
Facebook is radically altering the formula that determines what bubbles to the top of people's news feed, part of sweeping changes the giant social network has planned to address growing controversy over the role it plays in people's lives and in society.
Soon, Facebook says you will see more status updates from friends and family that spark meaningful social exchanges — parents discussing what bedtime stories to read to children, a friend seeking advice on places to travel or a newsy article or video on a topic you care about. What Facebook wants you to spend less time doing: passively scrolling through updates on your timeline, reading articles and watching videos, but not interacting with others.
"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," Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post Thursday. "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."
Zuckerberg has been laying the groundwork for making that fundamental shift in all of Facebook's products. He recently told investors he wants Facebook to encourage "meaningful social interactions" and downplayed the importance of how much time people spend there.
That's because the move could come at a high price. Zuckerberg anticipates Facebook's 2 billion-plus users will spend less time on and be less engaged with the social network — including watching videos, a lucrative new revenue stream. But, he says, "if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term, too."