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Zuckerberg promises Facebook will become more about people and less about ‘content’

CLICKBAIT PORTAL Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg has set his personal project for 2018 as “fixing Facebook” and it appears the company is hitting the ground running with a promise to sideline the big brands and sponsored posts in your feed in favour of proper posts from proper people.

Zuck explains: “…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.”

With two top Facebook alumni recently criticising what the site has become, and indeed the harm it has done society, Zuck is stepping in to prove that the monster he created isn’t the bogeyman.

“We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being,” he said. “So we’ve studied this trend carefully by looking at the academic research and doing our own research with leading experts at universities.”

If this sounds vaguely familiar, then yes, this is the same promise the company ‘started to make’ last year, but Zuck is now personally overseeing a return to the roots of the site as a means of personal connection.

It’s not that simple of course, at the end of the day, Facebook is a business and it has to make money. But what appears to be happening today is an admission that the balance is wrong. And if Facebook becomes nothing more than a platform of drivel and advertising curated by the highest bidder, people will stop using it, and then the system falls anyway, so don’t think it’s all about ‘doing the right thing’, even if you believe that Zuck is fundamentally a good guy. His business still depends on it.

Even so, he admits that this might mean that Facebook engagement will drop, and alarm advertisers. In fact, such a pivot could well disrupt the entire industry that has been built around his creation. But if Facebook is demonised, that’s just going to happen anyway.

Publishers of ‘content’ are of course up in arms about this as Facebook has proved a major source of revenue in recent years. But to us journalists, it’s a bit like someone complaining in 1979 that they’ve thrown all their money into glitter balls and afro wax and that Robert Stigwood has lost his touch. Now let’s get back to good old fashioned rock n roll. µ

(The INQUIRER: Good old fashioned rock n roll since 2001)

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