Zuckerberg's Change of Heart Cost Facebook CEO $3.3 Billion

Mark Zuckerberg


Facebook could lose up to billion after it announced it was making changes to its News Feed feature. And while Facebook has worked to pacify fears about these changes, it has acknowledged that the changes will have a negative effect in the short term.

"As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media".

"The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don't react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution".

With its stock up 48 percent over the past 12 months, Facebook has been a major driver of a technology rally that has propelled the S&P 500 to record highs.

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The move will not affect advertisements - users will continue to see the same ads they have before, "meaningful" or not.

The news comes a week after Zuckerberg announced that his New Year's resolution for 2018 would be to focus on systemic issues with Facebook, including abuse and hacking. There will also be fewer videos, which Facebook considers "passive".

The development was hampering the basic idea which led to the building of Facebook which prompted the network to rethink its strategy and make relevant changes for "more meaningful social interactions".

Many news organizations, bloggers and businesses have grown reliant on Facebook to spread information - articles, videos, infomercials - to their followers without paying for ads.

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Zuckerberg thinks the site will take a hit as a result, saying: "I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down".

It is a known fact that public content has exploded on Facebook. "People are actually going to spend less time on Facebook, but it suits us because it will make the time they spend more valuable and ultimately it will be good for our business". Tinkering with the news feed doesn't address the warped incentives created by the attention economy that has turned Facebook into a mega-corp.

HuffPost, too, said other platforms are already filling any potential void left in the wake of Facebook's changes, and said digital products like mobile apps can't be ignored.

Facebook was widely criticized for its passivity amid the avalanche of false information that invaded the feed of US users during the presidential elections of 2016. You can also unfollow a specific friend's posts, while still staying connected on Facebook; you can decide to follow that person again later. Former executives and Facebook investors have spoken out about how it and other social media sites might be hurting rather than helping society and users' psyches. Dotface's videos about a South Korean mother giving a hug to young sexual minority people who could not tell their parents about their sexual orientation struck a chord with viewers around the world, accruing 5 million views and many shares, comments and likes.

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