Zuckerberg changes Facebook's focus to be more 'meaningful'

Facebook's new feature'Today In to provide feeds on local events announcements news

"The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it", said Facebook.

However, the update would help people on Facebook have "more meaningful social interactions", he added in an online post.

The company says people will likely spend less time on Facebook as a result.

Mr Zuckerberg said the shift in focus was likely to reduce "the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement", at least initially. Last year, lawmakers berated Facebook, Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Twitter Inc. for failing to prevent Russian manipulation on their platforms during the 2016 USA presidential election. The deal then seemed very attractive for smaller publishers in particular - as many were already dependent completely on Facebook for their audiences.

The CEO said Facebook started making changes in this direction previous year and it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all the products.

The first changes will appear in the News Feed, where you'll start to see more posts from your friends, family and groups.

"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". 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. The social media company wants its users to have meaningful conversation with family and friends.

"It's important to me that when Max and August grow up that they feel like what their father built was good for the world", Zuckerberg said.

That's news shareholders may not want to hear, but Zuckerberg said he believes the changes will be mutually beneficial in the long run for Facebook's two billion users and its bottom line. 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. Zuckerberg said that was in fact Facebook's expectation, but that if people end up feeling better about using the social network, the business will ultimately benefit. "Using "engagement-bait" to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed", noted Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed.

While the move was anticipated, Thursday's announcement filled in more of the details.

The News Feed shake-up will also usher in a shift in thinking for Facebook's product teams.

"Just because a tool can be used for good and bad, that doesn't make the tool bad - it just means you need to understand what the negative is so that you can mitigate it", he said.

"As we roll this out, you will see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media".

Last week, the Facebook CEO said he would start "fixing" the issues facing the social media giant, including the spread of abuse and hate and "defending against interference" from state governments.

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