Mark Zuckerberg makes the case for Facebook News

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg
https://www.flickr.com/photos/135392323@N03/

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in high spirits when he talked to journalists and media executives two days ago. He said jokingly that this was the best thing he had done the entire week. He also made a case for Facebook News.

Facebook has been one of the most formidable forces in the tech industry in the past decade. However, the company has had a fair share of problems. There are also many reasons that publishers don’t trust the company

First, the question is how Facebook algorithms give priority to specific content. Moreover, changes to the algorithm can be quite destructive for the publishers. Zuckerberg said, “We should do better to work with partners and have more transparency. I think that the key thing we need to focus on is stability.” Thus, Facebook may be trying something as an experiment, but if it causes changes, it can be hard for businesses.

Zuckerberg also mentioned that Facebook’s algorithms are the least understood things. He also observed that many people accuse the company of manipulating feed to keep users online. He clearly stated, “These accusations on Facebook aren’t true. I have prohibited our team from optimizing the systems to encourage the maximum amount of time spent on the site. We only optimize the system to help in meaningful interactions.”

For example, he said that recently, Facebook changed algorithms to give family and friends priority over other types of content. It deleted 50 million hours of viral videos. When the company reported its earnings, Facebook had the highest market capitalization decline in history.

Zuckerberg was present in New York to inform journalists about the launch of Facebook News. It is a new feature on Facebook, which only focuses on news. News Corp CEO Robert Thomson was also present on occasion, who started by asking him that what took so long for this? When Zuckerberg got the turn to speak, he said, “This was a great compliment. It means that we are doing good things.”

Zuckerberg also said that the company has plans to support journalism. He said that every online platform has the responsibility to facilitate news. He also made it clear that, previously, they focused on the ‘News Feed’ feature on Facebook. However, it became hard to put news stories there because people mostly used Facebook to see the content from loved ones.

Thus, the company can use Facebook News to feature top news. Zuckerberg accepted that past ventures like this have proved to be more disastrous. However, the company will make sure that everything is right before launching the product.

Zuckerberg also said that he needed to show that tabs, like Facebook Watch and Facebook Marketplace, could increase the audience. Zuckerberg said that most users don’t use these additional tabs. However, the user base is quite huge. Therefore, even if Facebook gets a small number of people interested in these tabs, it would be quite beneficial.

“I think that around 20 to 30 million people will use Facebook News in the coming years,” said Zuckerberg, “If we achieve this target, we would be satisfied.”

Facebook is also paying publishers who take part in Facebook News. Zuckerberg said that this is going the first time the company forms a stable relationship with many publishers.

The Journalist community also asked Zuckerberg about the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other accusations on the tech giant. They also asked him about the recent controversy over Facebook’s unwillingness to check out political ads. However, Zuckerberg didn’t answer these questions, saying that they were unrelated to the occasion.

Zuckerberg said that Facebook would also hire journalists to make headlines and publish News Stories. “People don’t expect much news where the goal is to make sure that everybody has a voice and shares his opinions. However, people expect high-quality news in a space specially dedicated to news.” Zuckerberg said that Facebook News would also include negative news about the company itself.

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