In the next few days, Facebook users will see fewer publications from publishers, companies and celebrities that follow. Instead, Facebook wants people to see more things from friends, family and other people with whom they probably have "meaningful" conversations, something the company regrets having lost in the sea of videos, (real and false) and viral news. contests in which character of Big Bang Theory you are.
Here are some frequently asked questions about what users and businesses might expect from the changes.
Why is Facebook doing this?
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been deeply investigating the negative effects his company may be having on society and the psyche of its users. It has come a long way since November 2016, when it dismissed the idea that fake news on Facebook could have influenced the US presidential election. UU As a "pretty crazy idea".
Now is your personal goal for 2018 to fix the site and the grass hate, abuse, intrusion by malicious nation states, while also making it more "significant" and less depressing for users.
While acknowledging that Facebook can never be completely free of malign influences, Zuckerberg says that the company currently makes "too many errors by applying our policies and preventing the misuse of our tools."
The company also faces pressure from regulators in the United States and abroad, and a growing reaction from academics, lawmakers and even top executives and investors about the ways in which social networks may be leaving us depressed, isolated, bombarded by online trolls and addicted to our phones.
Facebook would prefer to make changes by itself than its hand forced by regulators: or to see disillusioned users move to other, newer platforms.
How will it affect the company's business?
Facebook's share price fell almost six percent on Friday morning before regaining ground. That suggests that investors take Facebook seriously when it says the move will likely make users spend less time on their service. Less time, of course, means less advertising eyeballs at any given time.
This is a big change for Facebook, which until recently focused on the laser to keep users attached to the service offering a set of notifications and "attractive" "but low-value material."
Facebook has been very well economically, its shares hit a record high earlier this month, and the company's market value is more than $ 522 billion, and its quarterly results routinely surpass Wall Street's expectations.
So It could be said that the company can afford to shift its focus a bit away from quarterly and metric earnings gains such as "user participation" that causes advertisers to be salivated. "Zuckerberg already pointed out that this would happen at the end of last year, when he said that the company's planned investments to avoid abuse would hurt profitability.
While the changes could hurt the business of Facebook ok in the short term, happier users could get better long-term profits. . At least, that's what the company expects.
Is this the end for brands and publishers on Facebook?
Many news organizations, bloggers and companies have grown up on Facebook to spread information (articles, videos, infomercials) to their followers without paying ads. The changes could endanger that route to their audiences, although some speculate that it could be a ploy to force these companies to buy more ads on Facebook.
"It's obvious that the days of exposure as a business on Facebook are coming to an end," said Michael Stelzner, CEO of Social Media Examiner. Although Facebook has made many changes to its news feed algorithm in the past, he said, this time it could be different.
That's because Facebook is being "much more explicit" in its writing about what kind of publications will decrease. "It has never been this black and white," said Stelzner.
Will this not only reinforce the "filter bubbles" that trap users among like-minded ones?
Do you like to argue? with people you do not agree with? Maybe, maybe not. But Facebook's goal is to make people happier by using the site, not expose them to opposing points of view. So yes, this is possible.
That said, the company says that this is how people make friends and interact with each other offline. We gravitate towards people like us. And Facebook says that its own research shows that users are exposed to more divergent views on their platform than they would otherwise be. Of course, this is difficult to verify independently, since the company does not usually show that information to outsiders.
Are people really going to spend less time on Facebook?
Admitting that your changes are likely to reduce the time people spend less on Facebook was a big problem for the company. Video, especially, has been a great focus for the social media giant, and the videos have been especially good at keeping users close. This last movement, however, will also remove emphasis from the videos.
Will changes make people happier or sadder?
The jury is still deliberating on how to see the mostly lush publications of friends and family people in time.
Facebook obviously believes that most of its users enjoy keeping up with what happens in their social circles, even if the material that is shared revolves mainly around parties, vacations and other fun moments while ignoring the inevitable challenges and the tedium of life. Share these moments together, reason Facebook, deepen the connections between people, even if they can not always be together without connection.
But some research and anecdotal evidence suggests that Facebook can make people feel isolated, inadequate or alienated as they experience a phenomenon known as "fear of getting lost." Teenagers are particularly prone to "Facebook depression" when they try to adapt and fit in with their peers, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
But other researchers believe that the way people react to Facebook depends on their personality. If you are prone to anxiety, insecurity or if you are no longer happy with your life, then seeing other people having fun could deepen your feelings of losing or staying out. If you are confident and satisfied with your life, seeing a friend or family member with a smile on your face could make you happy too.
A recent article in Perspectives on Psychological Science concluded that Lonely people using Facebook and other social networks as a substitute for real-life relationships tend to feel more isolated. But when Facebook is used to deepen friendships that have already been reached and forge new relationships, the social network helps people feel less alone.