One of our big focus areas here at Facebook is to make sure that all of the time you spend on Facebook is time well spent. That’s why, starting now, we’re going to focus on improving meaningful interactions with friends and family, especially those friends and family who suck.
Research shows that more meaningful social interactions make us happier and less lonely. Common sense shows that, too, but we only trusted the research. The science was foolproof: if we changed the News Feed to increase the number of posts users saw by friends who sucked, then they definitely would be happier.
So, the answer was clear. We needed to increase the number of meaningful interactions. But what is a meaningful interaction? What is meaning? What is an interaction? What is a number? We had to answer all of these questions.
But answer them we did, and they all pointed to the same thing: we needed to rethink the News Feed so that our users spent less time seeing ads and posts from media outlets, and more time interacting with real friends who are just the absolute worst. That experience of seeing a post, thinking “oh God no,” and then feeling your soul die a little bit? That’s a meaningful social interaction.
Based on this, Facebook is going to undergo some big changes. We’re changing the goal we give our product teams from focusing on making your mind atrophy to helping you connect to people who you met once in 2012, then forgot about, and now hate more than you ever thought you could hate anything before.
And in the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out the new News Feed. We began this process a couple of months ago, after we completed our five-year goal of irreversibly damaging American democracy. Going forward, you will see more posts from your friends and family. Sure, you could probably just call them up or meet them for lunch to see how they’re doing, but that wouldn’t be a meaningful social interaction because it wouldn’t be on Facebook.
So no more news stories from non-meaningful sites, like the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the local paper whose staff has shrunk by 90 percent because of Facebook’s influence on online advertising revenues. Now, you’ll only get your news from that guy you met in college who was really into Nietzsche.
Facebook began as a platform to connect to people. To hear from your great-uncle who has some thoughts about reverse racism. To catch up with that kid you met at the quiz bowl tournament in eleventh grade, who has some thoughts about immigration. To reluctantly accept the friend request from your dad’s work friend whose profile picture is a drawing of a cat, and who has thoughts about immigration, reverse racism, the gay agenda, feminazis, the dark web, and the Illuminati.
At its best, Facebook has been about personal connections. We want to be the glue that holds society together. And we want you to be the powdered horse hooves that make that glue.