Facebook Inc will change the way it does business to emphasise “meaningful social interactions” rather than the type of News Feed scrolling that critics say is addictive, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday.
Zuckerberg said in a post on Facebook that the changes would be “major” and lead to a short-term drop in the time spent on the network, but that it would be better for users and for the business over the long term.
“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us,” he said in a Facebook post.
“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.
“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 pointed to the fact that video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years.
Facebook has said before that it will emphasize personal connections over business pages and the celebrities people follow. But the latest move represents a major shift, one intended to highlight the posts users are most likely to engage with rather than passively consume.
There will be fewer posts from brands, pages and media companies and more from people. There will be fewer videos, which Facebook considers “passive.”