Mark Zuckerberg posted a message on Facebook late on Thursday that explains how Facebook will change in 2018. The CEO’s update is included in a brand new Facebook announcement that reveals what changes are coming to the News Feed going forward. Spoiler: the News Feed will show you less news and videos and more posts from people you interact with, or posts that would generate engagement, the positive kind.
In other words, Zuckerberg just acknowledged, again, that Facebook, as it is now, is bad for you and needs to be overhauled. Facebook’s chief said a few days ago that his 2018 resolution is to fix Facebook, and it looks like changes are already underway.
Zuckerberg said in his post that one of Facebook’s big focus areas for 2018 is to make sure that the time spent on the world’s biggest social network “is time 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, without revealing the precise source of this research. Later in the post, he does mention academic research and Facebook’s research with leading experts at universities without really going into it.
“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.
He identified the problem as being video and other content that has exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years, making it sound like these things just happened when in reality it’s Facebook who’s behind the big video push that became part of the daily Facebook experience.
But Zuckerberg and Facebook are no longer happy with the way Facebook is used right now to disseminate content and the fact that he’s announcing a significant makeover should not go unnoticed.
One other reason why Facebook may be updating the News Feed to include more posts from family and friends rather than news is to combat the explosion of fake news, a problem that first came to light after the 2016 US presidential election. Since then, Facebook took various steps trying to prevent fake news from becoming viral via Facebook.
Facebook does say that some Pages and public content will lose some traffic, as these posts will not appear as frequently as before in a user’s feed. However, a ranking system will determine what type of content will populate someone’s feed, with those pages that prompt conversations between friends likely to preserve their current placement. Of course, users will still be able to customize their News Feed, and prioritize certain Pages following the updates.
Zuckerberg’s full post and a Facebook video that explain the incoming changes follow below.