Facebook has a love-hate relationship with its users, both business and individuals. I’ve written and rewritten this post several times in the last few weeks. Why? Because Facebook continues to change its rules and policies. And does so, rather quietly.
These are the formulas… the filters… which decide which updates (posts) you see as a user. Conversely, which business updates are seen by your followers. In addition, ‘sponsored posts’ go through a similar filtering process, to deciding who sees what.
Facebook updated its algorithms around the beginning of the year and the impact was significant. At any given time, when a person logs in to Facebook, there are about 1500 messages ready to appear in one’s news feed. That firehose of ‘news (updates)’ is diluted to a level that is manageable by you, me or anyone else. What you may not realize is that the number of messages that will cross your news feed is reduced to about 6-7% of the total.
Businesses, in particular, are feeling the pinch. Business entities spend countless hours and effort to develop a following and now only reach 60 to 70 out of 1000 followers. Of course, it’s not just about reducing news feeds to manageable numbers, it’s about generating revenue for Facebook. You can reach more of your followers by BOOSTING YOUR POST. Or, as an individual user, PROMOTING YOU POST.
This isn’t a simple process. Just throwing more money at a given post may or may not get you the result you’re looking at. Achieving vastly improved reach is, in large part, attained by organic sharing of your business or personal update.
This week’s news
It has come to light that Facebook did some data analysis of about 700,000 users. They did so, not just by analyzing user data, but choosing certain updates with a decidedly negative or positive mood, to see what the emotional reaction would be, in response. It’s likely that in Facebook ‘terms of service’, we authorize some use of our data/actions on Facebook. However, this activity seems to be a stretch.
Months ago, Mark Zuckerberg ripped the United States Federal Government, as it related to NSA data gathering, and called for greater transparency. These Facebook actions smack of the pot calling the kettle, black.
Look to main stream news, as well as online news, in the next few weeks for major league backlash. It just doesn’t feel right, and I suspect both users and businesses are going to take a more skeptical view of Facebook.
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