Thursday, January 09, 2014

Facebook News Feed Redesign Changes Struggle to Court Users

I'm cleaning out an old archive of stuff to get to. A month ago All Things D posted Facebook News Feed Redesign Changes Struggle to Court Users

"Most people think of Facebook in a similar way: It’s a place to share photos of your kids. It’s a way to keep up with friends and family members. It’s a place to share a funny, viral story or LOLcat picture you’ve stumbled upon on the Web.

This is not how Facebook thinks of Facebook. In Mark Zuckerberg’s mind, Facebook should be ‘the best personalized newspaper in the world.’ He wants a design-and-content mix that plays up a wide array of ‘high-quality’ stories and photos.

The gap between these two Facebooks — the one its managers want to see, and the one its users like using today — is starting to become visible. Earlier this year, Facebook users rejected a redesign that Zuckerberg announced with much fanfare. Now Facebook is adjusting its algorithms to emphasize content that it thinks readers should see, which will push down some of the stuff that’s currently popular."

I have to say I'm more and more annoyed with Facebook trying to figure out what I want to see. Now I never played Farmville or other games that encouraged me to "friend" people I never met and don't want to meet and don't' consider friends. I know everyone I've friended in real life or in virtual life. I do have a lot of friends that are fraternity brothers from different years that I'm not close to but Facebook's addition of acquaintances seems made for this.

To me Facebook has already achieved one of it's goals; it's something I check in the morning, with my email and my twitter feed. It's kind of like a morning newspaper in that respect. But I want to see stuff about my friends. Mostly that's them posting stuff about what they've done or are doing or something fun. I of course have some friends that post too much stuff and I either put up with it or in a couple of cases have hidden their posts from my feed. That's fine. That's what I'd have to do in real life or with email.

But I'm constantly annoyed that Facebook won't let me keep their Sort setting on Most Recent to see all of friends' posts and on each of my devices. I'm annoyed that I can't mark a post as read so I don't see it again. I'm annoyed that things that interest me have become liked and now post things in my feed embedded with stuff from my actual friends. I use the browser extension Social Fixer to address some of these shortcomings but it's always trailing behind Facebook's updates (I'm amazed it works as well as it does).

I think Facebook has a real funding problem. They want to be funded via advertising so they'll constantly be trying to show me stuff I don't want. Instead I want to keep up with my friends and share pics and other things. If you want to charge me $10-20 a year to do, fine I'd do that though I suspect many wouldn't. Maybe that's not enough for them, but seriously if they have a billion users, $1 a month is good revenue, even if it drops to 100 million users it's still good.

They've been so successful at getting info about people, I wish they'd use that to come up with innovative ways for me to keep up with my friends. They've always had lists, but they should be able to automatically populate "circles" of how I know people and give me a nice interface for managing that. Let people share stuff about their family with people who care about that stuff and stuff about work with people who care about that and stuff about interest with people who care about that. Let me easily form sub-groups and schedule events with them (how Facebook hasn't already killed evite is amazing to me) and share stuff with them. Why isn't there a tribal way for me to find out which of my friends watch Justified and have a live chat while watching the show?

I think investing time in these features would make the site far more useful than trying to figure out which of my likes show things in my news feed. Maybe it wouldn't generate revenue on their own, but hey it's the Web 2.0, isn't it about gaining an audience (and keeping them) and then figuring out how to make money?

Bonus article: How to set up your Facebook privacy settings the secure way

1 comment:

The Geeks said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.