Facebook, the American online social media and social networking service which was launched on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes is seeking to return to its roots — that of a social community-oriented enterprise rather than a huge commercial entity.
Facebook, over the years, has touted itself as a platform that’s built to bring people closer together, and build relationships, by connecting users to meaningful posts from their friends and family in News Feed.
However, the company has bemoaned the fact that over time, posts from businesses, brands, and media have dominated the service and impacted negatively by crowding out the personal moments and connections that were once shared and enjoyed by its users.
Consequently, there will be a planned refocus by the billion users’ website for 2018.
“One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent,” said Mark Zuckerberg.
He further added, “We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. 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.”
According to Zuckerberg, research and feedback from users have prompted Facebook to pivot towards the changes that are soon to be adopted.
He noted that research has shown that when people use social media to connect with those they care about, it can be good for their well-being.
Moreover, one feels more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long-term measures of happiness and health, he further explained.
On the other hand, he posited that “Passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.”
He added, “Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interaction.”
He also argued that “there’s too much sensationalism, misinformation, and polarization in the world today.”
Zuckerberg opined that social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and bad actors must be muzzled rather than amplified.
He stated that Facebook News Feed will now seek to promote high-quality news that helps build a sense of common ground.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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