Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg announced major changes to his social media empire this week that caused stocks — and his fortune — to tumble, Bloomberg news reported.
Zuckerberg lost $3.3 billion Friday after he said content from family and friends, and not media outlets and businesses, will dominate Facebook’s news feed. Facebook’s shares fell as much as 5.5 percent, to $177.40,” Bloomberg reported.
But Zuckerberg won’t be going broke anytime soon. Although he lost his spot as the world’s fourth-richest person to Spanish retail billionaire Amancio Ortega, Zuckerberg’s fortune is still standing strong at $74 billion.
Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives said in published reports that the changes will be better for users and the company in the long run.
In a post on his Facebook account, Zuckerberg announced Thursday why he’s making the change. The post read, in part:
“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.
It’s easy to understand how we got here. Video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years. Since there’s more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what’s in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do — help us connect with each other.”
The changes could also be due to backlash social media has faced over fake news, cyber bullying, and Internet addiction, Bloomberg reported.
“We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being,” Zuckerberg wrote.
An article on Facebook’s news room section indicates the social media giant employs “social psychologists, social scientists and sociologists, and we collaborate with top scholars to better understand well-being and work to make Facebook a place that contributes in a positive way.”
What about videos?
Facebook users can expect to see fewer videos in their news feeds.
“There will be less video,” Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s vice-president in charge of news feed, told Wired magazine. “Video is an important part of the ecosystem. It’s been consistently growing. But it’s more passive in nature. There’s less conversation on videos, particularly public videos.
And pages about people and businesses will have less priority.
“There will be less content directly from (professional) Pages,” Mosseri said. “Page content will still be an important part of the ecosystem, but it will shift a little bit. Content that is shared and talked about between friends will grow, and content that’s directly consumed from Pages directly will shrink slightly.”
What are some of the other changes?
The article on Facebook’s news room, lists some of the other changes.
Users are now able to “snooze” people for 30 days, rather than “un-friending” them, the social media giant announced in December. Another feature is “Take a Break,” that allows people to restrict the visibility and access of an ex-partner. Finally, Facebook is hoping to boost suicide prevention.
“We recently released suicide prevention support on Facebook Live and introduced artificial intelligence to detect suicidal posts even before they are reported,” the article states. “We also connect people more broadly with mental health resources, including support groups on Facebook.”
Here’s is the announcement Zuckerberg made on Facebook: