Getting a head start on the rest of us, Facebook and Twitter have already announced their New Year’s resolutions for 2018.
Facebook, for one, has resolved to become more meaningful.
Citing a body of independent and internal research, the tech titan found that the more time people spend passively consuming information (on its News Feed, for instance), the worse they feel.
To combat that, Facebook is making changes to its News Feed to provide more opportunities for “meaningful” interactions, while reducing passive consumption of low-quality content.
Regarding their well-being, the initiative could also increase user interactions and engagement, which has been a goal of Facebook’s for some time.
As part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s push for greater authenticity, Facebook is also cracking down on solicitors of “likes,” shares and other types of phony engagement. It’s what Facebook calls “engagement bait,” or the manipulation of its News Feed algorithm in order to boost engagement and achieve greater reach.
Twitter has pledged to promote a more caring community in 2018.
To do so, the network started cracking down on what it considers to be “hateful” content. Along with direct threats of violence, Twitter is now taking action against content that glorifies or condones such odious acts.
Supporting the #MeToo movement, CEO Jack Dorsey and his team are also promising to permanently suspend accounts identified as the source of tweets featuring nonconsensual nudity.
To further restrict cases of sexual harassment, Twitter is vowing to conduct full account reviews whenever it receives tweet-level reports regarding nonconsensual nudity.
Twitter is also expanding its definition of “nonconsensual nudity” to more broadly include content like “upskirt imagery,” “creep shots” and hidden camera content.
Of course, as with most resolutions, the changes Facebook and Twitter advance are self-serving. Ultimately, a more meaningful Facebook and a less hateful Twitter supports their respective health and longevity.
Unlike most resolutions, however, failure will be hard to spot in the short term. We might have to wait until 2019 to see whether Facebook and Twitter have really changed.