Facebook kicked off 2018 with a huge announcement that it will be making changes to its newsfeed to promote healthier and more meaningful interactions between users on the social media platform.
Although Mark Zuckerberg is confident that the new changes will only be for the betterment of the company and its user base of billions, Facebook’s investors aren’t so sure about the CEO’s decisions.
Mark Zuckerberg Meets with Wall Street Investors
The new changes to Facebook’s newsfeed mean that less brands will be able to put up their advertisements on the website, and the company could potentially lose out on millions of dollars in ad revenue. Investors are now wondering how Zuckerberg’s decisions will affect the shareholders’ future and if their investment will still make the same profit as it used to in the past.
Investors on Wall Street were assured on Wednesday that even though the new changes will mean that people will spend less time on the website, the company will still be at an advantage at the end of the day. Zuckerberg hopped on a conference call with the analysts to explain the reasoning behind the recent adjustments saying that Facebook will now promote quality over quantity when it comes to advertisements and the user interaction.
Zuckerberg added that even though the average time spent on Facebook will be less, users will interact more than they did in the past which will lead to a stronger and more trustworthy social media community.
How Will the New Change Affect User Interactions on Social Media?
The changes were first announced in January after users complained that they were seeing a lot of unnecessary posts on the social media platform which was hindering their interactions with friends and family. However, more scrutiny followed after the announcement from critics who opined that the new change will be another way for Facebook to control the content users are exposed to on the website; this will only make the platform riskier for people’s security and privacy.
The company has already started making a shift towards highlighting posts and photos from other users, instead of advertisements and articles, to foster ‘meaningful’ interactions within the community. Zuckerberg had announced similar changes last year as well as Facebook cut down on the number of viral videos featured on the newsfeed. As a result, the time users spent on the website everyday fell by 50 million hours, sparing each user an average of two minutes of daily scrolling time.
Facebook’s Future Amidst Security Threats
Due to the change, the user base in the United States and Canada also dropped from 185 million to 184 million for the first time, last year. However, Zuckerberg isn’t too concerned about the decline and explains that the drop in user base is simply part of routine fluctuations as a result of changes made to the platform. Facebook is still the most popular social media platform in the world with more than 2 billion users and the status quo isn’t about to change any time soon.
The company’s revenues have skyrocketed over the past few years to a whopping $13 billion in 2017’s final quarter – a 47 per cent increase from the previous year. As a result of Facebook’s growing profits, the top executives have decided to increase their spending as well; in last year alone, the platform’s workforce almost doubled to at least 25,000 employees worldwide.
The company has faced intense criticism last year after disclosing the Russian interference in presidential elections through Facebook advertisements and lawmakers argue that the social media platform is doing its users more harm than good. Now, only time will tell if Facebook will be able to reverse the damage and earn back the users’ trust through the new change. For now, the company’s growth in profit shows no signs of slowing down.