Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder for Facebook, wrote a letter at the start of the year outlining his review of 2017 (must try harder) and the outlook for 2018 (will try harder).
Earlier this morning, he outlined in greater detail what this improved focus will mean for regular users of the social network.
Facebook, he says, was built to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. Recently feedback from the community that other content, public content like posts from businesses, brands and media, was crowding out the personal moments.
"We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people's well-being. So we've studied this trend carefully by looking at the academic research and doing our own research with leading experts at universities.
The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos -- even if they're entertaining or informative -- may not be as good.
Based on this, we're making a major change to how we build Facebook. I'm changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions."
- Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Founder, Facebook
The social networking giant started making changes in this direction last year, perhaps in light of the US Election and Russian-linked ads controversy. The first changes we can expect to see will be in News Feed, where a renewed focus on content from your friends, family, groups and live content.
Mr Zuckerberg acknowledged that these changes may impact on user statistics for the site, but that these changes will ultimately be for the betterment of the overall experience, "By making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too."
Facebook will have their work cut out for them if they are to drastically change the public perception of the site as not being useful and having to trawl through too many irrelevant posts to make it worthwhile for sharing and connecting with family and friends.