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Report: Facebook's Revamped News Feed Will Cost Mark Zuckerberg Billions

By NexChange
Capital Markets, Lifestyle

The big news this week in the social media universe (yes, this is a real universe) was Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announcing that the world’s largest social media company would be revamping its news feed algorithms to emphasize content from family and friends instead of media and brands.

Zuckerberg announced the change in a blog post, noting that “recently 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 explains that because “there’s more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what’s in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do – help us connect with each other.”

He notes that Facebook has been studying academic research and its own research into how people engage with the site.

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.

All of this sounds very warm and fuzzy – and let’s hope it does wonders for Zuckerberg’s spiritual bottom line, because his financial bottom line is definitely taking a hit, as Bloomberg reports.

The co-founder of the world’s largest social-media business saw his fortune fall $2.9 billion Friday after he posted plans to shift users’ news feeds toward content from family and friends at the expense of material from media outlets and businesses.

Shares of Menlo Park, California-based Facebook tumbled 3.9 percent at noon in New York, cutting Zuckerberg’s fortune to $74.4 billion on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. If that decline holds through the close of trading, he will lose his place as the world’s fourth-richest person to Spanish retail billionaire Amancio Ortega.

Bloomberg estimates that Zuckerberg has taken in roughly $4.5 billion this year, meaning that he will lose most of that because of this change. But more importantly: Can a person really survive on just $74.4 billion in the bank?


Photo: TechCrunch/Flickr

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