The content of Facebook – is it as captive as it should be?

I doubt I’m the only one noticed that the news flow in Facebook consist of less interesting things than it used to. One explanation could be the fact that Instagram more or less has taken over as the primary social media for photos and pictures. Today, my Facebook flows consists of approximately 50% commercials and “tag-a-friend-who..-posts”. Some of these posts are actually satisfying, but many of them are boring, or simply posts that you just cannot relate to. In fact, the ones who are gaining the most of these posts are the pages that are behind them, since it continuously gives them more attention and clicks, which in the end generates revenues from for instance sponsors. As it appears, Facebook has realized that this is hampering their approach, since they have started to demote these kind of posts.

The company will be stricter in terms of allowance of “spammy” or “engagement baits” as it’s called. This in an on-going process and it’s said they will work with continuous improvements within this field. This will be done in order to promote more meaningful interactions on Facebook. What goes for my opinion, this couldn’t have been more welcomed. As mentioned, Facebook is not very captive anymore, and since I still consider it as the main social network platform, something needs to be done. In fact, the main reason for Facebook usage nowadays is the messenger platform, and I doubt that their features are very superior to for instance Snapchat’s and WhatsApp’s.

Since I still find some of these “engagement baits” attractive, I wouldn’t say that I want it to be forbidden. Nevertheless, it could to some extent be reduced. For instance, some posts are repeatedly shown in the flow over time since one perhaps has a several different friends tagging their friends in the same posts. This is probably the first step in their improvement process, since one most likely only needs to see a post once.

According to Journalism.org, social media is currently a main news source. No less than two-thirds of the U.S adults gets their news from Social media, and my belief is that most of them are actually from Facebook. This is indeed an interesting topic, thus people go to a platform and gets approached with serious news at the very same time they can see a super not serious “engagement bait”. How does this affect the level people gets influenced by the real news? Perhaps, one can argue that the importance of the reality decreases because it’s delivered in such environment.

I suggest Facebook should continue to be a source of important information, however it still has to stay entertaining. Thus, they cannot make every “engagement baits” forbidden. I believe there is a very thin line between what should be allowed and what shouldn’t. It will be interesting to follow this development and to see if one can notice any differences in the near future. However, what needs to be highlighted is that t’s mentioned that posts asking for help, advice or money for charity won’t be affected by Facebook’s new strategy.

 

News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2017

https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/18/16789684/facebook-demoting-engagement-bait-posts-news-feed

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Viktor Paulsson

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One thought on “The content of Facebook – is it as captive as it should be?

  1. Paulina Swoboda says:

    Interesting issue. Facebook’s fight to more authentic news feed content should’ve started a while ago, but at least now they had realized that it got to the point that they are finally having to step in. Hopefully this will help to reduce the spam that’s all over Facebook now. Wonder how that might affect Facebook marketing strategies of some legit firms that used to use these tactics to boost engagement…

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