Get Ready for More Local News in Your Facebook News Feed

  • Get Ready for More Local News in Your Facebook News Feed

Get Ready for More Local News in Your Facebook News Feed

Zuckerberg said the decline was a direct result of ongoing changes to Facebook's News Feed, which include promoting more "meaningful" content and user engagement, while discouraging passive video viewing and lower quality content.

Elsewhere in the United States tech sector on Wednesday, Microsoft reported better than expected second quarter underlying profit and revenue figures, thanks to demand for its cloud computing services.

Facebook also reported its first-ever decline in daily users in the US and Canada.

Facebook has drawn criticism in the past year over allegations that it enabled fake news, foreign election meddling, and filter bubbles.

With the goal of distributing high-quality news, Zuckerberg said Facebook would roll out user surveys to gauge the trustworthiness of different media outlets.

Zuckerberg said on Wednesday that Facebook made changes in the fourth quarter that cut the number of viral videos in people's news feeds.

Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told analysts on a conference call that recent changes to stem the spread of disinformation and sensational media on Facebook could be good for its advertising business.

The 50 million fewer hours per day was compared with the prior quarter and excludes engagement on Facebook's Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp products, the company said.

"We don't anticipate that that will be a continuing trend but, given the high penetration rate, we do think there will be some fluctuation there", Wehner said. Frustration with Facebook, which seemed to peak during the USA presidential election, may have already been driving people away, analysts say. EMarketer reckons this year, Facebook will have 18.4 percent of the $266 billion market, second only to Google's 31.3 percent share.

Zuckerberg has vowed to fix the issues at the social network, amid concerns it was used as a platform for Russian meddling in the U.S. elections. Facebook said 126 million Americans may have seen Russian-backed political ads and posts.

Today, we're updating News Feed to also prioritize local news so that you can see topics that have a direct impact on you and your community and discover what's happening in your local area.

Facebook offered more upbeat news for investors in its financial results, once again beating Wall Street expectations in the fourth quarter, with $12.97 billion in revenue, up from $8.8 billion a year ago. As of December, monthly active users (MAUs) hit 2.13 billion - also an increase of 14% year-over-year.

Facebook said it increased its provision for 2017 income taxes by $2.27 billion, citing USA tax changes.

Facebook did report earnings per share of $2.21 to beat estimates of $1.95.

But fixing Facebook, critics say, should also involve making it less addictive and its business model less dependent on as many people logging in as often and for as long as possible.

Mobile ad revenue accounted for 89 percent of the total ad sales, up from 84 percent a year earlier.