Zuckerberg Loses $3.3 Billion After Facebook Changes News Feed

Zuckerberg Loses $3.3 Billion After Facebook Changes News Feed

He declared that he is changing the goal he gives from focusing on helping users find relevant content to helping them have more meaningful social interactions.

The company plans to change that, according to the social media mogul, citing research findings that using Facebook to connect with friends and family leads to improvement in a person's well-being. In fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.

In a bid to make time spent on Facebook more "meaningful", the social network wants to reduce the amount of posts that users consume passively, such as public content. Its quarterly results routinely surpass Wall Street's expectations.

If Facebook doesn't want a certain conservative or liberal publisher in the feed or decides a certain local news publisher shouldn't be there either, that publisher's social media reach will die, causing it significant economic harm.

In 2013, Zuckerberg said he wanted the news feed to look more like a digital newspaper, filled with information tailored to each user.

Why is Facebook doing this? Those include personal posts from friends or family, and especially those looking for a suggestion or sparking a conversation.

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But the new algorithm could put an end to that trend. Hordes of people acknowledge they are now addicted to Facebook and suffer from depression, anxiety and a host of other ailments because of it. And time spent watching videos meant less time scrolling and fewer ad impressions. And some users - including this reporter and his wife - reported seeing none at all. Fewer videos in the feed could offset lower engagement levels.

In a Facebook post on Thursday night, Zuckerberg said that public content from brands had inundated news feeds, overtaking posts from personal connections.

Meanwhile, Facebook is attempting to assuage publisher concerns through an email sent to partners by its head of news partnerships Campbell Brown.

Of the first 50 posts in Colin Stokes' news feed, just 10 were from organizations or people he follows. That's an increase in value for advertisers. In the past, Facebook has placed more emphasis on serving up posts that match your interests. The average price per impression climbed 35% last quarter. But the possible criteria that Facebook is now considering to determine which publisher is credible - such as "public polling about news outlets" and "whether readers are willing to pay for news from particular publishers" - is vague and could be problematic to enforce. Though these efforts have thus far been far from effective, the new changes threaten to undercut the measures even more. Mr Akhil Karthik, who runs a social media campaign, said, "Facebook is making it hard for social media marketing". The long-term positives of providing a more unique and relevant product could result in better user retention and keep users coming back more often.

Not only may Facebook's change of heart affect how brands and media companies make money, but it's already hitting Facebook where it hurts.

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