Facebook's biggest change in years is due to Mark Zuckerberg having kids

Business Insider | Jan 12, 2018, 08.48PM IST

Mark Zuckerberg Priscilla Chan


Mark Zuckerberg and a pregnant Priscilla Chan.

  • Facebook made a huge change to how its news feed works, surfacing posts from friends more prominently than posts from brands and publishers.
  • The change was inspired by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg having children.
  • "It's important to me that when Max and August grow up that they feel like what their father built was good for the world," Zuckerberg told The New York Times.

The biggest change in years to Facebook's main interface - its news feed - is a direct result of Facebook's CEO having kids and rethinking what he wants his legacy to be.

"It's important to me that when Max and August grow up that they feel like what their father built was good for the world," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told The New York Times in an interview published Thursday

Facebook's 2 billion users, as of Thursday, now see status updates from friends and family more frequently than posts containing news stories, or posts from brands. In short: More pet/baby/food photos and happy birthday messages, fewer links to your favorite news site (hi!).

Zuck said that the change is a direct reflection of being a father, and that he's willing to accept "short term" losses Facebook may face as a result.

As of Friday morning, Facebook's stock was taking heat

Zuck said that the change to the Facebook news feed is intended to "make sure that our products are not just fun, but are good for people."

But by de-emphasizing content from brands, and links to publications, Facebook potentially becomes less valuable to said brands and publications. Thus, Facebook's potential for making money - at least the perception of that potential - is diminished.

Meanwhile, investors and advertisers are likely worried by one particular line in Zuckerberg's Facebook post announcing the changes:

"By making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down," Zuckerberg wrote. "But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable."

Zuck, however, sees the change as a re-adjustment toward what Facebook was intended to do all along: connect people. "What are we really here to do?," he told The New York Times. "If what we're here to do is help people build relationships, then we need to adjust."

You can read Zuckerberg's announcement of the changes below:


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