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Zuckerberg just drastically changed how Facebook works because he's been rethinking his legacy

Ben Gilbert
  • Facebook says it will surface posts from friends more prominently in the News Feed than those from brands and publishers.
  • The change was inspired by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's having children.
  • "It's important to me that when Max and August grow up that they feel like what their father built was good for the world," Zuckerberg told The New York Times.

The biggest change in years to Facebook's main interface - its News Feed - is a direct result of the social network's CEO's having kids and rethinking what he wants his legacy to be.

"It's important to me that when Max and August grow up that they feel like what their father built was good for the world," Mark Zuckerberg told The New York Times in an interview published Thursday.

Facebook's 2 billion users, as of Thursday, will now see status updates from friends and family more frequently than posts from news organisations or brands. In short: more pet/baby/food photos and birthday messages, fewer links to your favourite news site (hi!).

Zuckerberg said the change was a direct reflection of his being a father, adding that he was willing to accept short-term losses Facebook may face as a result.

On Friday morning, Facebook's stock was taking heat:

Facebook stock price

Zuckerberg also said the News Feed change was intended to "make sure that our products are not just fun, but are good for people."

But by de-emphasising content from brands and links to publications, Facebook is likely to become less valuable to them, thus diminishing its potential - or at least perceived potential - to make money.

Meanwhile, investors and advertisers are likely to be worried by a line in Zuckerberg's Facebook post announcing the changes.

"By making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down," Zuckerberg wrote. "But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable."

Zuckerberg, however, sees the change as a readjustment toward what Facebook was intended to do all along: connect people.

"What are we really here to do?" he told The Times. "If what we're here to do is help people build relationships, then we need to adjust."

Read Zuckerberg's announcement of the News Feed change:

View this content at Business Insider