More friends, less brands: Facebook’s new ‘more meaningful’ news feed

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Facebook is rolling out a major update to its users’ news feeds in an effort to emphasise “meaningful social interactions,” the social media giant’s founder Mark Zuckerberg announced Jan 11.

In a post on his profile page, Zuckerberg wrote that the changes are designed to show more news feed content from friends, family and groups and less posts from businesses, brands and the media.

The founder said he expected people will spend less time on the platform as a result of the changes.

“[W]e’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.”

“I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too,” he wrote.

The move comes after Facebook early investor Sean Parker said in November that the social media platform was designed to be addictive, and follows criticism that the site did too little to slow the circulation of so-called fake news posts.

Facebook began working on changes to the platform last year, but Zuckerberg did not say when they would appear to users. “[It] will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products.”

Last week, he said his mission for 2018 was to fix Facebook’s problems including foreign interference, ongoing harassment and threats to the mental health of its users. dpa.