Facebook goes strong despite hard year: CEO

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has summed up the company’s performance in 2017, saying the past year was a strong yet hard one.

“2017 was a strong year for Facebook, but it was also a hard one,” Zuckerberg said in a statement released Wednesday.

According to 2017 financial statistics released by Facebook, the company’s net income grew by 56 percent to 15.9 billion U.S. dollars, while the income from operations saw a 63-percent increase.

The soaring profits seemed to exacerbate criticism on Facebook’s huge power to decide what people can see online and how it can influence its users’ views about the world.

Some critics blamed the addictive content on Facebook such as News Feed, advertisements and videos for wasting too much of the time that users should instead spend with their families and friends.

Zuckerberg said the company has changed some of its strategies in 2017 in order to encourage “meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content.”

“Already last quarter (of 2017), 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,” Zuckerberg said.

The company is expected to continue the effort in 2018, “making sure Facebook isn’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being and for society.”

“By focusing on meaningful connections, our community and business will be stronger over the long term,” Zuckerberg said.

In January the Facebook founder said that major measures would be taken to let over 2 billion users focus more on “meaningful social interactions” and spend less time on news articles, viral videos and other media content.

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