Tuesday, 16 January, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg posted about Facebook changes. It's already cost him $4.5b

Zuckerberg 33 who started Facebook in 2004 aged 19 still owns a 17 per stake in the company which went public in 2012 BBC Minute: On Facebook's News Feed
Emmett Howard | 13 January, 2018, 10:13

Zuckerberg, who last week said his "personal challenge" for 2018 was to fix Facebook, said people may spend less time on the social network as a result of the changes.

Fall in shares has reached up to 6.1% ahead of the open market, following the closing just below the flatline on Thursday.

Facebook's latest changes don't impact ads - only business and media-oriented content posted by pages and other people, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Matt Navarra, director of social media at technology news site The Next Web, said people who used the platform to connect with friends and family were the "biggest victor out of this" but added that brands that relied heavily on Facebook for audience would be anxious about how it affected their ability to generate revenue.

What will change, however, is the way Facebook prioritizes what to show you first.

Shares of Facebook fell more than 4 per cent on Friday and were on track for their worst session in more than three months after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced changes that he said would hit user engagement in the near term.

Mr Zuckerberg said the company had examined academic research on social media.

While Zuckerberg described the move as being created to bring people closer together and foster more "meaningful social interactions", analysts noted that it comes amid criticism of the world's leading social network on various fronts.

If you follow the Reading Eagle on Facebook, you can expect to see less of us in your news feed over the coming months.

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"It's in the same direction that Facebook has been pursuing for a while: offering a place for discussion among individuals, a community space, rather than being a news source", said Oh Se-uk, a senior researcher on digital news at the Korea Press Foundation.

Instead, content that sparks conversations among family and friends will be prioritised. Less time, of course, means fewer advertising eyeballs at any given time.

Mr Zuckerberg said the shift in focus was likely to reduce "the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement", at least initially. The company estimates that 130 million of its users are in such groups.

Facebook and companies from Twitter to Apple have been confronting a mounting public backlash against technology and social media, as the public grapples with a constantly connected life in which they are exposed to fake or biased news, cyber bullying and even internet addiction.

Facebook tweaked its news feed in 2014 to clamp down on "clickbait", posts with grabby headlines like "you won't believe what happened next" yet ultimately disappoint.

"I am personally quite unhappy with the fact that Facebook decides for its users what is relevant to them and what not", Hoffman said.

Many publishers have already recognized that they must spread their content beyond Facebook. "But those opportunities to get in front of users will be that much more impactful if it's more selective".

The algorithm changes will nearly certainly affect ad-supported media companies like BuzzFeed and Bustle, which depend in part on Facebook to bring in an audience.

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