You Just Don’t Know With Facebook

I Want My Name I Want My Name: NPR ran a story yesterday about the fall of Upworthy, and how a simple Facebook algorithm change cut 75% of their traffic. Here’s a quote I found interesting:
In a statement to NPR, a Facebook spokesperson said, “It’s no secret there have been several improvements to News Feed in recent years. There has been clear communication about those updates, and why the community of people on Facebook wanted them — particularly in the instance of reducing clickbait and sensationalism.” That spokesperson also said Facebook stands by the reporting in The New York Times about why Upworthy clicks suffered.

So on the one hand, sure, Upworthy is clearly a bad thing for the state of journalism and clickbait headlines are the absolute worst, but on the other, the amount of power we’ve given Facebook is incredible. Basically, Facebook claims to not make editorial decisions, just decisions based on data – and with that data, they can completely crush the availability of content.
The problem is the premise of a News Feed that can be improved at all. You’ve probably read this a hundred times, but content on Facebook isn’t just served to people who “like” brands and follow people. It’s served up through an algorithm that supposedly knows what you want more than you do.
But isn’t that like signing up for email newsletters, but only getting the ones you consistently read through to the end? Shouldn’t you be the one who decides what you want and what you don’t? (Are we just going to let AI decide what culture we participate in?) In this case, tens of millions of people “liked” Upworthy, all on their own. But because, in this case, time-on-site was apparently low, Upworthy’s content just stopped being delivered. That’s crazy!
Now I still understand while some publishers feel the need to be on Facebook – the growth potential is enormous. But for a small business, should you really be spending your time on a platform that A. won’t serve all your content by design, and B. might penalize your content based on a metric you aren’t aware of? Say what you will about Facebook for individuals, but organic Facebook posting for brands seems like a bad idea that’s only going to get worse. Allocate your time elsewhere.

The post You Just Don’t Know With Facebook appeared first on iGoldRush Domain News and Resources.

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