Ever since Facebook came into existence there have been a lot of changes on the design more so on how News Feed works. Three major changes: First we had News Feed divided into sections Top, Recent, etc all in chronological order with minor changes along the way to the recent introduction of an algorithm that identifies News Feed depending on “quality” of the status update. Right now Facebook News Feed is undergoing another change.
Instead of showing you updates from your friends especially those that have “memes” or rather photos shared by them, Facebook wants to show you more of the status updates from pages you like or from those that are in line with your interests. The only time you’ll see some status updates from your friends are when such updates have significant comments from other friends. Varun Kacholia said via Facebook’s blog,
We’ve noticed that people enjoy seeing articles on Facebook, and so we’re now paying closer attention to what makes for high quality content, and how often articles are clicked on from News Feed on mobile.
This is good for us bloggers and others who write and share content online. We really like it when whatever it is we talk about is read by many people. So this algorithm that Facebook wants to introduce is highly welcome.
But as a Facebook user I do not think I want to read status updates with links from Facebook Pages. The fact that I like tens of pages does not really mean that I want to receive their status updates more than I want to know what my personal friends are saying. So I think that after Facebook News Feed is changed to be more Pages friendly that friends friendly, my usage of Facebook will dwindle; and if a number of users are faced with the same predicament, then this particular change could be what makes Facebook to start becoming irrelevant.
OK, Facebook becoming irrelevant is too far fetched. Facebook has done a lot of changes in the past that users have complained about. A number of people have said that they will no longer be in Facebook after some of these changes but even the few who manage to deactivate their accounts, they always find themselves going back to the addictive social networking site. Also several others have found Facebook useful in other things like playing games and chatting with friends rather than following stories as they happen in News Feed.
However whenever Facebook introduces some of these changes, it should always have in mind that different people have different views and tastes on how they would like to interact with their friends. It would have been better if they introduced some of these changes giving people options to chose the manner in which they want to interact. For instance, personally I would appreciate to continue receiving my News Feed in a chronological order as I like thinking that whatever it is on top of the News Feed is the latest “breaking” update…but when at times I find that the update sitting on top of Facebook News Feed is actually an update that was posted more than 18 hours ago, I really feel “offended”; so I would have loved to have an option of customizing my Facebook News Feed to receive updates in a chronological order.
Anyhow, we know what Facebook wants the pages to do, it wants them to sponsor posts. In the past few weeks Facebook has been running “Boost Post” promotions to Facebook Pages at an increased rate, including suggesting some posts that are performing more than others to be promoted as a notification. On the other hand for the Pages to find boosting posts as valuable, the admins must be assured that their sponsored updates will indeed reach a wider audience; hence the need for Facebook to tweek the algorithm that shows the News Feed to be more biased in favor of the sponsored posts.
And that’s how Facebook News Feed wants you to interact more with us than with your friends.