Art and design

Books

Culture

Environment

Fashion

Film

Life and style

Money

Music

Politics

Science

Technology

Travel

Television

US news

World news

Facebook should 'get back to baby pictures', says YouTube CEO

YouTube’s chief executive, Susan Wojcicki, joined a lineup of tech and media executives lambasting Facebook at a conference in California.

Wojcicki, whose own company is facing intense criticism over its handling of shock-jock vlogger Logan Paul, suggested Facebook should head further down the path it started on when it announced plans in January to de-prioritise news content.

“They should get back to baby pictures and sharing,” Wojcicki told Code Media in Los Angeles.

But the CEO said Facebook’s increasing attempts to establish itself as a video platform do not keep her awake at night: “[Y]ou always have to take your competitors seriously, but you don’t win by looking backwards and looking around.”

She wasn’t the only one using the stage to attack Facebook, which has become one of the industry’s favourite punching bags in recent months. BuzzFeed co-founder and CEO Jonah Peretti joined in, arguing that Facebook should extend its revenue sharing practices to the news feed itself. “Most of Facebook’s revenue is in News Feed, and that’s where they’ve not shared revenue,” Peretti told the conference.

The social network does split advertising revenue from instant articles, or videos posted to the site, but Peretti argued that that isn’t enough. “These are places with a lot less distribution so there’s a lot less revenue.”

But Peretti’s broad advice for Facebook was the opposite of Wojcicki’s: the social network, he said, needs legitimate news content, because otherwise it will be overrun with bad actors. “Facebook will have no chance to control what’s in News Feed if the only lever they have is traffic, because the only way to say ‘we want influence over this content’ is if you have a lever of content and a lever of revenue.”

Facebook defended itself at the conference, with the company’s head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri, and news parternships manager Campbell Brown, arguing that it was trying to help publishers in other ways. Brown argued that the perception that Facebook is a blank slate for all types of content is wrong, noting that the site is fine with “leaning into quality news” and “broadly trusted publishers” at the expense of clickbait.

Mosseri said that Facebook’s “integrity effort” was based on the company’s “values” and “standards”, but warned that it wasn’t entirely certain how it was going to do that.

A stated goal to increase users’ “time well spent” was stymied, he said, by the lack of clarity around what that means. “We’re trying to figure out how to best measure and understand that [and] trying to understand ... what people actually find meaningful.”

This article titled "Facebook should 'get back to baby pictures', says YouTube CEO" was written by Alex Hern, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 13 February 2018 10.22am

Technology

Kylie Jenner helps to wipe $1bn from Snapchat with tweet over redesign woes

More than $1bn was wiped off Snap Inc’s market value on Thursday, in one of the company’s worst… Read more

Letter: John Perry Barlow obituary

“I’d rather pump septic tanks,” John Perry Barlow told me in a Chinese restaurant in 1995 to… Read more

YouTube promotes conspiracy videos attacking Florida's shooting survivors

YouTube is promoting conspiracy theory videos claiming that survivors of last week’s Florida school… Read more

Manchester United end 13-year wait for official YouTube channel

Manchester United is to launch an official YouTube channel after a 13-year absence as it looks to… Read more

Citymapper launches bus-taxi hybrid Smart Ride in London

London-based transit app Citymapper is today launching Smart Ride, a hybrid bus and taxi service… Read more

Ex-engineer sues Google, saying he was fired for condemning diversity memo

A former Google engineer has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was fired for speaking out against… Read more

Would a cheap refurbished laptop run Photoshop?

I’m a graphic designer with a long-term health condition that regularly puts me in hospital. At… Read more

Meet the Musks: who's who in Elon’s extended family?

We know plenty about Elon Musk, the South African-born erstwhile teen mega-nerd, PayPal co-founder… Read more

Tesla battery 'taking straw off camel's back' for South Australia energy demand

The big Tesla battery in South Australia is consistently working to serve the peak energy demand… Read more

Boston Dynamics is teaching its robot dog to fight back against humans

It appears that, just like their flesh and blood counterparts, you just can’t put a good robot dog… Read more