Everyone who uses Facebook has had something to say at one time or another about the algorithm. It’s an elusive equation that determines who sees what on the Facebook news feed based on a complex set of variables. These variables often included how many interactions a post gets and whether it contains visual media like a picture or a video. And just when you think you have it all figured out, they turn around and change it. Well, it seems like its happening again.
Now they have announced that they will specifically be promoting posts from family and friends rather than publishers. Facebook is the number one distributor of news stories worldwide. The increasing shifts in the algorithm to promote posts from sources users know in real life rather than news outlets could prove challenging since many of these outlets rely heavily on Facebook for their traffic.
It boils down to this, Facebook will be promoting links shared by real people rather than links shared by publishers. Similarly, unless these people are reposting links, rather than just sharing them directly from publishers pages they are likely to get lost in the algorithm. Facebook executives state that they are focused on personalizing the News Feed for users by incorporating only those stories that the user would deem most important. This has created controversy in the past, with some saying that Facebook is cherry-picking the issues that the world should see and therefore view as important. Facebook countered that they are simply giving users the stories which matter most to them.
The problem that arises is that since many users turn to their news feed as their main informational source about the world around them, how can it be an unbiased view of the world as a whole when the algorithm is deliberately withholding information. Facebook is not really in the business of making sure they are creating a well-informed public, but rather that they are creating a public which relies on their News Feed, no matter what the information that is presented.
This doesn’t even touch the angle of photographers and other small business owners who have already seen Facebook views dwindle to a trickle… it seems Facebook wants to put the squeeze on businesses/publishers even more to pay/promote their content/services/products on the social network.
They just keep piling it on…