After a public debate in Germany, a new law on social media came into effect in October.
NEW YORK (AP) - Facebook is tweaking what people see to make their time on it more "meaningful" in a move that could hurt publishers and news organizations that rely on it to spread their content.
The 33-year-old chief executive said that the move, which will badly affect many publishers and could hit Facebook's own bottom line, was meant to renew the social network's focus on bringing people together after users complained that commercial posts were crowding out personal moments. While details on the update remain vague, it was reported that the network would emphasize posts by people close to users and encourage personal interaction.
The Facebook CEO's latest announcement is nearly a total reversal from a deal he offered publishers in 2014, whereby they could host articles directly on its mobile app, giving them easy access to Facebook's 1.37 billion active users.
The Silicon Valley company constantly experiments with what shows up in the News Feed and in the past has also said it would prioritise posts from users' friends and family. In fact only a month ago Facebook announced how it plans to put a clamp on engagement-bait spam posts.
Facebook has introduced sweeping changes to the kinds of posts, videos and photos that its more than 2 billion members will see most often, saying Thursday that it would prioritize what their friends and family share and comment on while de-emphasizing content from publishers and brands.
Facebook's head of news feed Adam Mosseri said businesses will feel the biggest impact of the changes.
The company says that's similar to how people make friends and interact with each other offline.
The Menlo Park, California-based company has kept revenue growing by consistently selling more advertising in its news feed, striking partnerships with media companies to distribute their stories, and including more video postings, which draw higher ad rates. The company has long pushed users to spend more time on the social network.
The company has been criticized for algorithms that may have prioritized misleading news and misinformation in people's feeds, influencing the 2016 American presidential election, as well as political discourse in many countries. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos - even if they're entertaining or informative - may not be as good, Zuckerberg said.
While the move was anticipated, Thursday's announcement filled in more of the details. In this way content from businesses, brands and media will be filtered and will be given last priority.
Zuckerberg added that his way of running Facebook has shifted since the birth of his two daughters, Maxima and August, in recent years.
Explaining however, that recently "video and other public content have exploded on Facebook".