Mark Zuckerberg posted about Facebook changes. It's already cost him $4.5b

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The changes could shrink the social media giant's role as a major news source for many people. Hordes of people acknowledge they are now addicted to Facebook and suffer from depression, anxiety and a host of other ailments because of it.

"We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health". If Zuckerberg's statement on Friday is to be believed, he's chose to de-emphasise some of the business strategies that make Facebook mountains of cash and reimagine Facebook as a place for friends once again.

The world's 500 richest people gained US$1 trillion in 2017 and an additional US$192 billion in the first two weeks of 2018, according to the Bloomberg index.

Facebook obviously believes most of its users enjoy keeping up with what's happening in their social circles, even if the material being shared mostly revolves around parties, vacations and other fun times while omitting life's inevitable challenges and tedium. Facebook says its research shows that users are exposed to more divergent views on its platform than they would be otherwise, but that's hard to verify independently since the company is cautious about providing data to outsiders. Of course, users will still be able to customize their News Feed, and prioritize certain Pages following the updates.

"But none of that matters if our services are used in a way that doesn't bring people closer together", said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on their November earnings call.

Matt Navarra, director of social media at technology news site The Next Web, said people who used the platform to connect with friends and family were the "biggest victor out of this" but added that brands that relied heavily on Facebook for audience would be anxious about how it affected their ability to generate revenue. Zuckerberg acknowledged that he expects this will mean people spend less time on Facebook, but he hopes the time they do spend "will be more valuable".

"We believe these changes will be beneficial to Facebook in the medium and long term", said Brian Weiser of the Pivotal Research Group. That's the question people asked after the social network's announcement. He vowed last week to "fix" the social network after a year that saw Facebook come under sharp criticism for contributing to a climate of extreme political polarization, the distribution of fake news and escalating privacy concerns.

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Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook co-founder, appeared to admit on Thursday that people who "passively" read Facebook posts and videos from businesses were left feeling less happy than when reading content from friends.

Facebook said the changes will start rolling out within the next couple of months. "As always, it would be good to see transparency from any platform, particularly Facebook, as to how they are going about deciding what constitutes quality". But business was good.

Oh, the researcher at Korea Press Foundation, said it was too early to say whether the latest measure would reinforce Facebook's "filter bubble" effect or not.

Facebook had a very bad year with the public, politicians and former employees. Since then, annual sales have soared from US$5.1 billion to an estimated US$40.2 billion a year ago - and the news feed has become increasingly crowded with advertisements and posts from brands and publications.

"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", he said.

That said, company says this is how people make friends and interact with each other offline. He wrote that these posts should inspire back-and-forth conversation and gave examples such as "a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion".

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