Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday he was planning a shake-up of the company to focus less on sharing and more on creating private experiences.
Zuckerberg, who built the world's largest social network in part by persuading billions of people to share details of their lives online and then showing them ads based on their activity, said in a post on Facebook that the future of the company would be in creating intimate online living rooms rather than offering a "town square."
The shift, which he said would happen over a few years, would mean less sharing on services like Facebook and Instagram and more private messages that cannot be seen by anyone else, including by people at the company, because they'd be encrypted.
"In a few years, I expect future versions of Messenger and WhatsApp to become the main ways people communicate on the Facebook network," Zuckerberg said.
"We're focused on making both of these apps faster, simpler, more private and more secure, including with end-to-end encryption," he added. "We then plan to add more ways to interact privately with your friends, groups, and businesses."
Compared with public social networks, he said, "messaging services evolve gracefully and remain intimate," even when people add friends over time.
Zuckerberg said he was describing the changes well ahead of time because they would mean "taking positions on important issues concerning the future of the internet" and the company would consult with outside experts and others.