The Difficulties With Facebook’s News Feed Overhaul

Farhad Manjoo commits all the way to a cookie analogy at the start of this piece and it works!

Do people really want a more “meaningful” Facebook any more than they want healthy cookies? Didn’t we get hooked on Facebook for its easy outrages in the first place — for the sugar, not for the broccoli? And if Facebook’s underlying business model is based on how much time we all spend eating there, can the company ever truly resist the pressure to keep plying us with more cookies?
These questions don’t mean that Mr. Zuckerberg’s new plan will fail. But if he really does want to make the time we spend on Facebook count as “time well spent,” I suspect Facebook will have to change much more radically than it is now letting on. It can’t just become a slightly healthier cookie company; it may have to get out of the sugar business altogether. And what, then, happens to all those billions in future profits? (On Friday, the stock market seemed to harbor the same worry; Facebook’s stock fell 4.5 percent.)


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