Some people are calling it jumping on the bandwagon, and others are calling it an invasion of privacy.
Thursday, Facebook announced that they would be making changes to their News Feed by making modifications to their algorithm for the News Feed specifically. The changes, or the idea, are specifically geared toward making users engage more, and become more active in relevant topics.
And, it will probably work.
The new algorithm will bring to the forefront, or more specifically – the top of the Feed – things that are trending, being talked about, or what Facebook deems relevant. Which some say could be advertisers, and not necessarily relevant content.
Of course, there is a business reason for this decision. The idea will be that creating buzz around relevant events, or time sensitive events – as Facebook has put it – will create more energy around certain events – and will trigger more actively involved users.
More actively involved users mean more engaged customers for potential advertisers on the site, and that of course, would be very strong reasoning for the company to pursue that option.
But, this isn’t something that is necessarily “new” to the market. Twitter already organizes their News Feed like this, and it’s executed so well that Facebook wants to jump in that market because there is still a lot of room for improvement, and money to be made.
How will it work though, in actual functionality?
It’ll be pretty simple. Facebook will put trending topics higher in the News Feed. Meaning, if someone you know, or a page that you follow posts about a trending topic – you will see that before you see baby pictures from the birthday party two weeks ago.
It also takes into account the various levels of trendiness that can be seen on the internet, and across social media. Facebook, for example, will weigh different events that seem, or feel to be one-and-done kind of posts or events.
As posts, or topics lose popularity – you will see them trend down the News Feed, as other more trendy and Newsworthy things begin to populate the top fields.
In turn, Facebook will become much more political, and much more social than it has been as of late. Simultaneously, it will also turn into a popularity contest amongst groups that don’t necessarily post, or talk about the really trendy events.
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It also points to an interesting divide amongst Facebook users. The ones that are steadfast against using Facebook for political commentary/social movements – and runs them against their rivals the individuals that utilize Facebook as a social sharing platform it is, with the ability to reach an audience. These changes show the point that users who are consistently unwilling to talk about, or mention “trending” topics – they will consistently have a lower seat in the News Feed, and ultimately have less exposure when it comes to their posts.
Again, encouraging to not just engage in social media – but engage in relevant social media.