Zuckerberg changes Facebook's focus to be more 'meaningful'

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Congress is expected to hold more hearings this month, questioning the role social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc's YouTube play in spreading propaganda. A long comment on a family member's photo, for instance, might be highlighted in the News Feed above a video with fewer comments or fewer interactions between people.

The immensely popular social network for millennials and users of all ages, Facebook is on a drive to ease out the availability of local news from vetted sources for its user base.

Instead, content that sparks conversations among family and friends who use the site will be emphasised, explained chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on his page.

Facebook is coming off of a tough year, where it had to battle fake news and reports that Russian-linked groups attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election via ads on its service.

"Video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years".

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Facebook is also looking to double down on a strategy of promoting content shared by friends and family over posts published by news outlets, other people familiar with the situation said. Zuckerberg later said he had been too hasty and dismissive of the concerns.

"People will actually spend less time on Facebook, but we feel good about that because it will make the time they do spend more valuable, and be good for our business in the end". More recently, he began signaling that Facebook was rethinking what it shows people on the site. So they said they wanted to improve the quality of the feed, which kind of does make sense, except when you consider they allow all sorts of advertising content into the newsfeed....if they are getting paid. On the other hand, passively scrolling through social media does not. Possibilities indicate that being part of a distinct, local section of the app might help draw more traffic back to publishers' own news pieces and websites where being advertised on Facebook by featuring on the app will add to their revenues, but the section by itself won't help them make money.

"This big wave of public content has really made us reflect: What are we really here to do?" He discloses to me that Facebook needs to "respond to the way the world has changed around us, particularly the blast in video".

Zuckerberg said he was now focusing his company around the new approach.

Reading local headlines and finding a band playing a show later sounds like a downright heartening shift in focus from watching Facebook's vast tangle of digital citizens emote endlessly into their algorithmically curated voids.