Few hours ago, Mark Zuckerberg, the Founder & CEO of Facebook through his Facebook post announced that his big focus area for 2018 will be to make sure that the time spent by users on Facebook is time well spent.
He plans to start doing that through Facebook’s News Feed, where users will be expected to see more from their family, friends and groups, and less from businesses, brands and media pages. Facebook’s team has been making changes in this direction since the last year.
The CEO of Facebook also announced that this was just the beginning in this direction and in a few months, he plans to connect users even better.
According to the feedback received from the Facebook community, public content (posts from businesses, brands and media) is crowding out the personal moments. The idea of building Facebook is to help people stay connected and bring them closer together, said Mark.
“Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness”, added Zuckerberg. Hence, Facebook feel a responsibility to make sure that their services aren’t just fun to use, but also to take care of people’s well-being. As a result, they started studying this trend carefully by doing their research with leading experts at universities and also at their academic research.
Passively reading articles or watching videos, even if they are entertaining or informative, may not be as good as connecting with people we care about. It can be good for our well-being as it makes us feel more connected and less lonely, which correlates with long term measurement of happiness and health, they concluded.
“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us” added Mark.
Public content like articles, memes, videos etc. have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years. Since there are less posts from users compared to public pages there is an imbalance which Facebook is looking to rectify.
The time users spend on Facebook, along with other measures of engagement are expected to drop down after these changes are made. However, Facebook is optimistic; they expect the time users do spend on Facebook will be more valuable, which will be good for the social media community and also for their business in the long run.
Mark concluded by saying that at its best, Facebook has always been about personal connections. And he wants to help make sure that Facebook provides quality time for their users.
So what should businesses and brands do now?
They should focus more on meaningful content that encourages interactions between people, as after this update rolls out, we will see less public content like posts from business and brand pages, and more posts from users in the News Feed.
Zuckerberg has instructed his product teams to focus on helping users find relevant content in order to have a meaningful social interaction. Hence, marketers need to narrow their focus totally towards hitting their target audience and pushing enticing content forward that engages social interactions.