Jan 31, 2018

Zuckerberg: Feed changes reduced user time spent by 50 million hours

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at Facebook's F8 Developer Conference on April 18, 201 in San Jose, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Facebook's recent shifts away from viral content, news, and video are already having an impact, said CEO Mark Zuckerberg as part of the company's latest quarterly report.

Why it matters: It's been a year of reckoning for the social network, which has had to deal with its influence over people's news diet and sharp criticism over its ability to exploit human psychology for attention. These forces led Facebook to change the newsfeed algorithm to focus more on content posted by friends rather than publishers.

Already last quarter, we made changes to show fewer viral videos to make sure people's time is well spent. In total, we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day. By focusing on meaningful connections, our community and business will be stronger over the long term.
— Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

The bottom line: Facebook's stock price is down nearly 5% in after-hours trading.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 659,367 — Total deaths: 30,475 — Total recoveries: 139,304.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 121,117 — Total deaths: 2,010 — Total recoveries: 961.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is considering a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters that supported Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are now balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus deaths top 2,000

Nurses in masks, goggles, gloves, and protective gowns at Penn State Health St. Joseph conduct drive-thru coronavirus testing in Bern Township, Pennsylvania on March 27. Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

More than 2,000 people have died from the novel coronavirus in the U.S. as of Saturday, per data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Why it matters: Recorded deaths in the U.S. surpassed 1,000 two days ago. The U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy.

Go deeper: Trump weighs quarantine of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

Infant dies after testing positive for coronavirus in Chicago

Hospital staff working inside a COVID-19 screening tent in Chicago on March 26. Photo: Jim Vondruska/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An infant less than one year old died in Chicago, Illinois after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, the state health department said on Saturday.

Why it matters: The death would mark the first reported infant mortality from COVID-19 in the U.S. The fatality rate for the novel coronavirus in the U.S. is highest among those over 85 years old, per the CDC.

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