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

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Travis Parker Martin is the co-founder of Bootkik, a Calgary-based startup that attributes the majority of its growth to its Facebook presence. Facebook says it will actively demote popular clickbait headlines and false news, and give precedence to posts from close friends.

In contrast, "passively reading articles or watching videos - even if they're entertaining or informative - may not be as good".

Facebook is changing its news feed, which will now prioritise posts from friends and family, and show fewer posts from publishers or businesses.

Zuckerberg has been laying the groundwork for making that fundamental shift in all of Facebook's products.

The shift is likely to mean that the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down in the short term, but it will be better for users and for the business over the long term, he wrote.

That's because the move could come at a high price.

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. The company has long pushed users to spend more time on the social network.

There have been serious concerns about the effect social media can have on people's mental health, particularly children and teenagers. For example, publishers, businesses and other brands rely on Facebook's new feed for distribution.

It's since ballooned into the most popular social media platform on the planet.

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The concession did not happen in a vacuum. Still, Facebook felt this was an important move to make anyway. He later softened his remarks.

The announcement comes one week after Zuckerberg, who famously declares a News Year's resolution on Facebook each year, announced his goal this year will be to "fix" Facebook.

"There will be less opportunity to expose Facebook users to brands", Cakmak said.

Thursday's changes raise questions of whether people may end up seeing more content that reinforces their own ideologies if they end up frequently interacting with posts and videos that reflect the similar views of their friends or family.

With more than 2 billion monthly users, Facebook is the world's largest social media network. On the flipside Business Pages and organisations may see a decline in their reach, video watch time and also the referral traffic.

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said community feedback has shown that public content has been "crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other".

"This big wave of public content has really made us reflect: What are we really here to do?" There will be fewer videos, which Facebook considers "passive".

On Jan. 11, Mosseri took to Twitter to say the new updates were created to accept this reality by promoting meaningful interactions whereas in 2016 "we were focused on people seeing more stories from friends". Facebook displayed its willingness to sacrifice profit to tackle big problems when it announced late previous year a plan to hire thousands of content moderators to deal with Russian interference and misinformation on the platform.

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