After more than a year of scandal, Facebook wants a do-over.
The company has announced sweeping changes to overhaul the social media juggernaut. The watch word, says CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is privacy.
However, critics say the changes will require a completely new business model for the company, and Zuckerberg doesn’t have a base of strong consumer trust to build upon. If the company is successful in making the changes, it could upend how brand managers, marketers and PR pros interact online.
Mr. Zuckerberg, who runs Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, on Wednesday expressed his intentions to change the essential nature of social media. Instead of encouraging public posts, he said he would focus on private and encrypted communications, in which users message mostly smaller groups of people they know. Unlike publicly shared posts that are kept as users’ permanent records, the communications could also be deleted after a certain period of time.
He said Facebook would achieve the shift partly by integrating Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger so that users worldwide could easily message one another across the networks. In effect, he said, Facebook would change from being a digital town square to creating a type of “digital living room,” where people could expect their discussions to be intimate, ephemeral and secure from outsiders.
“We’re building a foundation for social communication aligned with the direction people increasingly care about: messaging each other privately,” Mr. Zuckerberg said in an interview on Wednesday. In a blog post, he added
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