Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants people to stop idly scrolling through the platform and instead have more meaningful interactions. "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," Zuckerberg said in a post announcing the changes.
The move comes a week after Zuckerberg said he will devote 2018 to fixing the problems that plague his company. "Facebook has a lot of work to do," he wrote in a separate post on Jan. 4, "whether it's protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent.
The update will have large implications for Facebook-- Zuckerberg expects people to spend less time on the platform -- but businesses and publishers will bear the brunt of the change. Companies that use the social network as a way to organically market their content will have limited reach in news feeds. What's more, if people spend less time on the platform, they won't see as many ads.
It's a risky strategy for Facebook. Not only could the move alienate the businesses that utilize the platform to drive sales, but the drop in user participation may also upset investors. After all, almost half of the American population visit Facebook for news and information, according to a Pew Research Center study.
"As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media," Zuckerberg wrote. "And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard -- it should encourage meaningful interactions between people."