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Facing critics, Facebook wants feeds to be more ‘meaningful’

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A picture taken on December 28, 2016 in Vertou, western France, shows logos of US online social media and social networking service Facebook. / AFP / LOIC VENANCE

NEW YORK — Facebook is tweaking what people see to make their time on the site more “meaningful.”

The company says people will likely spend less time on Facebook as a result. The changes come as critics say social media can make people feel depressed and isolated.

Facebook has said before that it will emphasize personal connections over business pages and the celebrities people follow. But the latest move represents a major shift, one intended to highlight the posts users are most likely to engage with rather than passively consume.

There will be fewer posts from brands, pages and media companies and more from people. There will be fewer videos, which Facebook considers “passive.”

The changes won’t affect ads and will likely hurt businesses that want to reach followers without paying to advertise.

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