In a recent regularly scheduled question-and-answer session for employees, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked about the company’s efforts to measure whether Facebook users believe the company “cares” about them. In particular, an employee asked whether the measure could be distorted by recently introduced “welcome” messages on the site saying things like “enjoy Facebook today.”
It’s a topic much discussed internally. About two years ago Facebook began closely tracking a metric called “Cares About Us,” or CAU, which is pronounced “cow” inside the company. It’s based on questionnaires that appear at random in people’s News Feeds. And it’s become an important priority for Mr. Zuckerberg, helping the company make product and revenue decisions, according to a person familiar with Facebook executives’ thinking.