Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has announced plans to make major changes to its newsfeed, which will take place over the next few weeks.
Mark Zuckerberg explained the changes on his Facebook page. Posts from businesses and brands will be less prominent and feeds will more heavily feature content that aims to spark conversation among family and friends.
“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,” Zuckerberg wrote.
“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.”
In response to the news, shares in the social media giant plummeted 5.4 percent in pre-market trading to $187.77.
With the new changes, Zuckerberg hopes to “fix” the tech giant in 2018.
Laura Hazard Owen at Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab, said: “It’s definitely a significant change. It’s going to affect publishers a lot, we’re going to be seeing a lot less news organically pop up in our news feeds.”
Daniel Ives, head of technology research at GBH Insights, said that despite concerns, the changes will not affect publishers that rely on traffic from Facebook.
“Facebook will continue to grow its massive global installed base in our opinion while importantly monetizing users especially on the Instagram side of the house, which remains the ‘core 1-2 punch’ that underlies our bullish thesis on the name,” he wrote in a note.
“We note that Instagram already announced 800 million MAUs in September (vs. 700 million in April) as this platform remains a ‘golden jewel’ in Facebook’s platform in our opinion with healthy monetization and ad growth set to play out in 2018 based on our forecasts.”