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Facebook Overhauls News Feed to Focus on What Friends and Family Share (nytimes.com)
280 points by axg on Jan 12, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 213 comments

I very much hope this isn't just words. The core problem, IMO, is that content that makes us angry, anxious or jealous is a much better driver of clicks than content that makes us happy. I'm sure Facebook knows this. If they really mean it, they'll accept that they will make less money as a result of this change. It would be the right decision in the long term, but the short term will hurt.

Are clicks the majority of revenue for FB? An ad unit that fills a users screen for a few second as they scroll throughout the day every day is super super valuable to brand advertising. I think that’s ~$450 billion of the total ~$500 billion total annual global ad spend.

To me browsing the fb feed is a lot like like flipping through tv channels used to be. Brand advertising loved that too.

I’d think the More people browse their feeds the more valuable their ad unit becomes to brand advertisers.

Right I mean, driving a click through to a website due to rage has to be less profitable than driving a click through to say DeWalt power tools due to delight. Right? I mean some fraction of a fraction of of an ad for DeWalt must be worth less than keeping your friends pro DeWalt status update on top.

(This is not a paid ad for DeWalt but seriously, fucking DeWalt. Them and Stihl: just gorgeous power tools)

Haha. Yeah. My wife doesn't get it yet that when I pay a little extra for DeWalt it means I will not have to buy the same tool again for a very long time.

I wholeheartedly agree with this statement.

No question. The value of sales engines - driving sales referrals - as ecommerce in the US doubles over the next ~10 years (and in many developed economies), is extraordinary. If you want to make a billion dollars, build the next generation of sale referral monsters (RetailMeNot or Coupons.com being a primitive, unsophisticated first generation version; Groupon & Co were/are also primitive early sales referral engines).

A catalog is a concept, rather than a pile of printed paper as perhaps most people would think of it (ie thinking that catalogs died out with the rise of the Web). Historically catalogs pushed sales in all sorts of ways for all sorts of things, for eg the last 150 years in the US (and much longer elsewhere). As a concept, it's a sales referral system; it can either be internally owned (Sears Catalog) to drive content within eg a retailer's selection, or it can drive sales for external stray objects (whether tchotchkes or otherwise). The catalog business in the US was massive for a century. It's being rebuilt online right now. Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. are in part sales referral engines, there will be dozens of major platforms that perform that role, as it spreads to fill in every possible ecommerce niche.

All of these shops/brands/products coming online or being started from day one online, need a way to drive sales online (the more cost effectively the better). Taking a cut of that sales referral action will be dramatically more valuable than rage clicks for content on a random buzzfeed article or a paid click over to low value content on boredpanda and similar.

Are your thoughts that Facebook et al would - instead of charging for an ad 'impression' - charge ecommerce sites a sales commission for the referral? (Disclaimer; I think/imagine they do this already to some extent, but it's not the main revenue driver.)

If this were the case, then it would absolutely be in Facebook's interest to present ads based on a persons likelihood of purchase (perhaps using a deep neural recommendations network (akin to YouTube's) to power it all).

Of course they will make more money from this change:

It turns out that using ML to optimize for immediate engagement has two unintended side-effects: 1) it produces junkier content, 2) it decreases long-term retention. For obvious reasons, building a model to optimize for the long-term engagement is way harder and takes way more time.

While in the long run new model is more profitable (due to increased retention life-long engagement goes up), it decreases immediate engagement metrics. When this happens, major accounts start to call in and ask why now they are getting less for their dollar, thus this preemptive explanation by Mr Zuckerberg.

Then, when the dust settles and prices adjust, increased retention will compound and profits will go up.

How many people are aware that the list of interests directing Facebook ads are easily visible and editable?

Settings | Ads | Your Interests

It's really interesting to see the full scope of the interests FB has gathered over time. Some of them are pretty hilarious.

They have a seemingly huge ontology of every subject you could think of. If you methodically go through an remove every interest, the ads suddenly become very generic - stuff targeted to, say, age group and/or location. Since removing everything, and periodically clearing it all out, I generally only see stuff for things like real estate and car dealerships, which don't really mean much for me.

I found Facebook’s idea of what my hobbies are to be particularly amusing: https://m.imgur.com/nWCWn63

It’s unclear where they got those from, or why those are even allowed to be considered hobbies.

I don’t use Facebook much these days, but I’ve had an account for nearly 13 years, I use Instagram regularly and they surely have lots of tracking pixel data on me...so I was suprised at how poorly they’d inferred my interests (the other categories were less farcical but not especially accurate).

Generally people only consider ads that “don’t mean much to me” as ads. If they do mean something to someone they suddenly cease being ads to that person. It’s a weird thing.

I did the same and filled it with things that are relevant to me, and now my ads are generally enjoyable — things I might not have otherwise known about.

There was a lot of cruft in there from the early days when it was easy to like everything. But after the cleanout my ads are definitely better.

> they'll accept that they will make less money as a result of this change

If they're providing less engagement to content discovery from businesses in the feed, it increases the value of the traditional advertising on the platform. Perhaps their plan is expected to simultaneously push up the ad rates they can charge to access users, as an offset.

It's also likely to increase the value of the content Facebook is going to curate/push on its own platform via Watch. They're going to build out a substantial streaming business in the coming years, rivaling YouTube. The user obviously has finite time, this will probably ultimately shift more engagement time to Watch, less time to stray business or media content.

Overall it strikes me as a classic later stage of platform evolution. First you have an ecosystem with large numbers of external parties that are deriving immense value from the platform (whether businesses or developers or other). Then you eat the ecosystem, replacing it with your own systems and on-platform content. For example, instead of promoting a Craigslist (eBay, Poshmark, whatever) post, if you're Facebook you promote on-platform "marketplace" listings. Instead of an external YouTube post getting attention, that goes to Watch. By doing that, they technically fulfill their claimed plan (if only in their own opinion). Twitter, Microsoft Windows, eBay, Google, Netflix, nearly all platforms do this aggressively eventually.

> that content that makes us angry, anxious or jealous is a much better driver of clicks than content that makes us happy

Not for me. I've all but abandoned Facebook because I was tired of being angry all the time. It's a wasteland of political hysterics.

I just routinely block any political page (of any kind) that someone shares, and have unfollowed anyone who feels the need to go on political rants more than once or twice a week (including, sadly, some family members and long-time friends).

I mean, by this point I get it that they like (or don't like) Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Message received.

While I won't unfriend someone over politics (unless they start insulting me), I will unfollow them. If they want to waste their own time ranting on Facebook, it's their business, but I've stopped letting them waste mine.

Twitter is, of course, much worse. I don't understand how anyone can believe that Twitter's format is suitable for serious political discussion, but many people apparently do. I quit Twitter a long time ago.

> If they really mean it, they'll accept that they will make less money as a result of this change.

First, it's not sure whether they will actually lose money. The problem with clickbait is that you learn relatively little about the user. Suppose someone clicked on hundreds of articles about why everyone hates Donald Trump... what does this teach about the user? How does it allow you to show them better targeted advertisement? If instead they will click on stuff written by their friends, you will learn what hobbies they share, and then you can sell them things related to the hobbies.

Second, just because Facebook changed a value of some variable quickly overnight, doesn't mean they can't slowly change it back later, if it indeed turns out to be a loss of profit.

They mention this quite explicitly: "As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it."

I think it's bold but good for the long term.

Every Facebook change seems to reduce Page basic reach, probably in order to increase the pressure to pay for additional reach.

> The core problem, IMO, is that content that makes us angry, anxious or jealous is a much better driver of clicks than content that makes us happy.

Right ... and if they're not careful here, they'll just go back to how FB was before the brands all moved in: people posting content that made each other angry or anxious.

A FB feed full of people trolling one other and squabbling about politics in long comment threads might look like it's "sparking conversations" and worth promoting in News Feed, but it's fundamentally going to be the same sort of turn-off as any badly-run forum is.

The core core problem is the content incentives: whether for brands or individuals, FB incentivises content that gets interactions, and without moderation of some kind that leads inexorably to trolling/clickbait.

Wow, who are your friends? I regularly interact with people I'm not angry at, even on Facebook.

I have a perfectly lovely set of friends, who often post lovely things.

But when I think back to all the “long comments” and “spark conversation” type posts, they’re not lovely. They are politics or other things that spark FB’s equivalent of a flame war.

So my fear is that using those things to indicate these posts should be more prominent is going to be a tricky thing for them to get right.

Getting a computer to decide between “has lots of comments because it’s a fight” and “has lots of comments because it’s useful and interesting” is an interesting challenge.

A "Was that worth it?" button might help distinguish clickbait or angerbait from genuinely worthwhile and fulfilling information. Say you participated in a conversation on FB. When the conversation ends, you might get a notification from FB the next time to log in asking you whether it was good.

Or a news site could have a Was it worth it? button at the end of each story, to help identify clickbait or otherwise low-quality articles. Rather than measuring how many page views each journalist drives, they might measure how many satisfied readers that article had, and reward journalists who write high-quality articles.

That is a good statement of the problem. It seems like I've read about some pretty effective tone analysis for English, at least, that might be helpful.

Well, studies have said social media increases anxiety, I suppose because people usually post highlights of their lives, on average people's reaction to those posts is jealousy and feeling like "Why is my life shit?"...

All they're doing is lowering inventory - this means cpc and costs are going to rise.

What they really need to be worried about is how many advertisers they will/won't lose.

>It would be the right decision in the long term, but the short term will hurt.

It seems there's quite a bit of incentive to target short term gains for many of the relatively new tech companies. When tons of early employees hold incredibly valuable stock options, which tend to be more valuable than their salary's, this creates an organization wide incentive to drive those stock prices as high as possible during their tenure. Those early employees gain position and influence, then use it to influence company culture and direction.

Is assume this contributes to the reason why it's so hard for behemoth companies to be nimble and quickly change direction.

It's hard for any large organization to be nimble and quickly change direction, eg. the government, military, unions, religions.

If anything, stock options incentivize longer term thinking. Instead of quarter to quarter goals, stock options reward goals years in the future.

> content that makes us angry, anxious or jealous is a much better driver of clicks than content that makes us happy

This might be true. Or it might be a belief we formed to explain Facebook's behaviour, and we now need to start updating our beliefs.

Anyway, assuming it is true, Facebook still must balance two things: (a) get clicks from your existing users (b) get and retain users. In their halcyon days they could take (b) for granted. Perhaps now the market demands some humility from them?

yes, but to counterbalance this they will making companies/pages pay to get articles into newsfeed or on frontpage one way or another.

As I explained here, they will make more money from this change:


Facebook shows us what we click on. My own feed is, if anything, too saccharine, because I pay more attention to happy stuff than politics.

If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change, and all that.

Anecdotally, the only change I've noticed is that Facebook seems to be showing more ads (almost always for something I'm not interested in) in my news feed.

> content that makes us angry, anxious or jealous is a much better driver of clicks than content that makes us happy

Especially considering there's only a "like" button and not a "dislike" button. It's frustrating!

There are more options now, including angry and sad reactions.

Good intentions or not, we must remember that history has proven time and time again, when any entity has far too much unchecked power, it is inevitably exploited by bad actors. A user base of two billion users without any real accountability is a scary thing. The only people policing Facebook are Facebook. We would never agree to a having a single dictator who answers to no one, why should Facebook be treated any differently?

Because unlike a dictator Facebook has zero real power over your life? It's a site of puppies and horoscopes, you think we should be dealing with them like we do Kim Jong Un?

How have we moved so far on the personal responsibility scale. Why aren't people partly responsible for not making better use of their time? Facebook is an "evil echo chamber", "wasting people's lives", "catering to business", etc - ALL THEY DO IS HOST YOUR FRIENDS' PHOTOS. Can't we take partial responsibility at least for how often we _choose_ to log on? Are we that simple that our entire personalities can be fully pwned with some basic machine learning?


This is like saying a Tesla car is just a machine that generates heat.

Facebook has built an algorithmically optimized list of content that they believe will drive you back to the site to consume more.

They also have insane amounts of usage data which they are testing for sentiment analysis [0] They've also run tests on content to provoke emotion as far back as 2014.[1]

It's clear that they have the power to influence emotions and impact people in real ways. Because you are strong willed does not mean that others cannot be easily swayed by dopamine release.

[0](http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/27/technology/facebook-ai-suici...) [1](https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/every...)

> This is like saying a Tesla car is just a machine that generates heat.

Not to that degree but I admit that I used a hyperbolic devise to try and pull back the implied necessity of Facebook.

> does not mean that others cannot be easily swayed by dopamine release

Facebook should be regulated as a narcotic :-P

Jokes aside, FB does have lots of ability to influence, and they shouldn't be able to operate with impunity, but that's a far cry from where we are now:

- Facebook is too fun (because AI!!) and my work is suffering!

- Facebook keeps giving me what I'm interested and engaged in!! (echo chamber)

Seriously. I get the argument that the brain has flaws that can be manipulated to some degree, and I think it is seriously worth considering, but HN has really jumped the shark when it comes to these conversations. To hear this forum tell it, everybody is powerlessly cowering beneath the lash of their electronic devices, completely unable to make any decisions about their usage.

The ugly truth is that while you may be very conscious of how you spend your time online and what you interact with, the majority of people simply is not, and many people are ill-equipped to even understand how they are being manipulated to scroll a bit more, play another game or vote for the wrong candidate.

Sure, that's probably fair. But to be precise, what I'm complaining about is my perception that the tenor of some of these HN conversation is so hysterical that they don't even recognize the _possibility_ of having control over your usage. The idea that Facebook et al are _nothing_ more than a 21st century poison, and that they're impossible to use responsibly, is something I've seen far too often for far too long on this board.

I use drugs (caffeine, alcohol, weed, and a couple others), and do so responsibly, and think that they add some measure of richness to my life. I enjoy well-made desserts, and do so responsibly, mostly avoiding sugar and processed carbs in the rest of my diet, and I'm in great physical health. Both of these have a huge potential for abuse, but the idea that they're 100% terrible and the only possible way to handle them is complete abstinence is absurd.

I use Facebook, but I do so in moderation, I generally don't spend much/any time in the feed, and it adds a dimension of convenience of communication to my life which has helped _enrich_ many friendships instead of damaged them[1]. And yet out of the three examples I've given here, Facebook is the only one for which I frequently see top comments and entire threads with people claiming they can't believe that everyone hasn't figured out that any FB usage is toxic and the only solution is complete abstinence. I just don't get it.

[1] A friend of mine had a traumatic brain injury last year and has been recovering with family in a different city. Since he's not able to have the big bday party up here that he usually has, a couple of weekends from now, 10 of us are flying from three separate parts of the country to celebrate his birthday for a weekend. _All_ of the planning, from convincing his family, to figuring out lodgings, to figuring out the guest list, to figuring out transportation and scheduling for everyone, was done over Facebook Events and Messenger (and Google Sheets).

The problem there being ? Apart from the (sofar unbeknownst to me) existence of a "wrong" candidate ?

I'm not going to explain to you why it matters in which direction societies evolve. And yes, the 'wrong' candidate obviously can exist, for example the one that deceives the voter.

Facebook affects you even if you've never had an account, which represents the "least often" point on the "choose when to log on" scale.


You might not have noticed that Facebook also hosts a lot of Javascript that non-facebook sites load for some aspect of their implementation.

Traditional media only broadcasts content to millions, and they are regulated. Why isn't Facebook regulated?

Facebook is regulated (everything is regulated to some degree either directly or indirectly). Is there a specific regulation you mean? Perhaps traditional media should be less regulated? I personally really like the way the internet is.

I'd like more regulations on securing / deleting consumer data, accountability for data leaks, public disclosure of political advertising, clear labeling of friend's content vs ads and organic trending content, and anti-monopoly regulations to promote innovative competition.

The public has benefitted from placing those regulations on traditional media, it should serve as an example for regulating massive tech corporations. If anything, I'm in favor of more advertising regulations on traditional media (eg banning deceptive advertising, especially in medicine).

> I personally really like the way the internet is.

Giant monopolies that control most of it for most users?

Who forced you to use a single site on the web? Monopolies of oil, phone lines, food ... Those are troubling.

What is Facebook a monopoly of? Attention? Digital family scrapbooks?

If they're such a monopoly why is it ridiculously easy to quit it with absolutely no consequences?

Why are you giving these companies powers they don't actually possess? Their only value to anyone is their Network effects. There are plenty of alternatives to Facebook and Twitter and Google and (thanks, Internet!) they're really easy to find and use.


If that's all they do, why do they just show me my friend's political rants and never the photos? I have to click on a specific person to see their entire timeline these days ("Most recent" only shows me a couple things, and then tells me to add more friends), and it's almost always their political rants and links, and rarely their photos.

I've started using Instagram, ironically also owned by facebook, because it's photos and not weird political rants.

FB does far more than host photos. In addition to being a platform to disseminate any sort of media, from cat videos to news to political commentary (so much so that they developed Instant Articles), it serves as a platform for text/video chat, event coordination among friends and organizations, web pages for small businesses, forums (which is basically what a Group is), games, and countless other stuff I haven’t listed here.

Facebook really does want to be your homepage and their products currently released all point to an all encompassing strategy to get you to stay on Facebook in order to look at more ads. In light of their ambitious strategy that extends far beyond the scope of traditional media, it really is not something to laugh off.

> Are we that simple that our entire personalities can be fully pwned with some basic machine learning?

Unfortunately, yes.

I agree and feel similarly about the fake news discussion that's been going on since the election: Instead of looking for ways to hide it we should try to educate people, encourage critical thinking and work towards media consumption literacy and competence. If publications like Breitbart, /r/the_donald and others find a substantial following, maybe the receivers and not the messenger itself needs fixing.

Of course this isn't an overnight process, but one that has to start early, particularly during childhood, which is why the education system is central to those efforts.

If you want to hear the opposite side of the story, you should listen to an episode of the Dan Harris podcast with Tristan Harris [1]. Tristan is the founder of timewellspent.io which is an organization advocating for changes to the way we measure the success of applications.

The core point is that properties like FB are built to persuade you into doing certain things and we have surprisingly effective techniques for getting the results we want. A major aspect is that even when people notice and reject certain techniques this requires mental effort – over time you are worn down and less likely to make good decisions. At the moment we are fighting an up-hill battle against all the big players on the net – for what? Should it be like this? How do you want live to be? isn’t it worthwhile to strive for creating an environment where as many people as possible are able to thrive and succeed – after all, we all profit from other people making good decisions!

[1] https://www.samharris.org/podcast/item/what-is-technology-do... I

Facebook can affect your life by being a rumor mill and bullying platform. Yes, it is easy to stop using Facebook, but the consequences of rumors can greatly affect a person offline.

Facebook had a huge effect on the most recent elections in both the US and the UK. To say that it has no power over your life is pretty naive.

>Facebook has zero real power over your life


These two obviously false statements completely undermine your otherwise valid point about personal responsibility.

Power is very different from influence. Facebook does a great job of encouraging people to choose to visit, but they have no power to force anyone to do so. The second comment is hyperbolic for sure, I used that device to try and swing the conversation closer to the other side where I think it needs to be.

>Power is very different from influence

Influence is a function of power, it's in the very definition of the word:

1. the ability to do something or act in a particular way, especially as a faculty or quality.

2. the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events.

Does FB not have the ability to influence behavior?

Even if you choose not to visit FB (I don't), that doesn't mean FB has no influence over your life, especially when many/most of your friends and billions of others are plugged into it. Unless you live on Mars.

I wonder if enough of the core-base was eroding that they were forced to make this change. I've been logged out of Facebook since October, and I know a few other friends who have as well. That's not really relevant, except that this group all had membership on Facebook at the 1 year mark - early 2005.

>> I wonder if enough of the core-base was eroding that they were forced to make this change.

You're probably right. I'm just one person and my views are not universal but also not unique to me. IMHO shared content of all kinds has killed the value of facebook to me. I go there to see what's up with people I know, not to see bunch of shared stuff from 3rd parties. A few years ago you could go through and click "don't show any more from cool_cat_videos" and do that agressively for a day or two and the feed would clean up and show more friends posts. That doesn't work any more, there is a constant barrage of suggested content that isn't coming from anyone I know - just FB paid suggestions. It's awful. My typical Facebook experience is to log in, scroll down - ignoring almost all content - looking for an actual post from someone I know. Then I log out.

To me the problem is the "share" button. It encourages impersonal content sharing, which I can get all day long over at reddit or youtube or whatever. I go to FB to see what's up with people I know, but it just doesn't work like that any more.

They seem to get it, but the fix they're talking about is to focus on 3rd party content that get a response from people you know. That's still not personal posts, and I don't think it's going to change my use much.

The problem for them is that the stuff that used to bring me there doesn't pay, and the stuff that does drives me away.

Yeah exactly the same for me. Friends communicate and share photos and news on WhatsApp now, not Facebook.

Facebook has become a kind of shit version of Reddit where everything in the news feed is basically stuff from Reddit that has been shared by friends. It used to be original messages from friends.

> a kind of shit version of Reddit


Intermixed with ads, game invites, racist/populist images, and those silly heart glitter greeting cards stuff...

I tend to think the same. I switched to twitter, instagram (I know, also facebook) and messengers and stopped using facebook altogether. Many of my friends did too and I'd guess that FB can see that in their numbers.

Most people I know use facebook to chat in private groups or 1 on 1.

Nobody is posting or reading stuff in public... Except older mostly female people (i.e. the "my aunt" stereotype).

I haven't visited the Facebook Main site either for quite some time. Only using the messenger.

I'm beginning to wonder if Facebook has begun to realize that being the source of ads while temporarily beneficial to their bottom line is actually destroying their long-time value to advertisers. Chasing eyeballs for ads necessarily warps the things you present to those eyeballs and eventually you're in a race with every other eyeball chaser. The problem with that race is that you no longer have an undistorted understanding of viewer/user preferences but instead only understand their reaction to your attempts to capture attention and clicks, which is a more mechanical understanding of behavior rather than understanding underlying motives and preferences.

Ad companies have long specialized in the mechanistic side of things so Facebook really brings nothing new to table for them, and merely being "a giant audience" isn't especially worthwhile either since a "run of network" ad buy for Adsense or the like is cheap. Facebook's differentiator was "we have all this insight into users!" and while that was true at the time they began courting advertisers what I suspect advertisers and Facebook discovered was that those insights became less and less accurate as users responded to the changes Facebook began to make in order to try and increase ad effectiveness, thus beginning the distortion spiral.

I wonder if Facebook is making an attempt to return to the insight side of the business, allowing advertisers to use the info Facebook has regarding people as targeting for ads that occur away from Facebook. They return to a demographic/insight source rather than an advertising platform.

Josh Marshall just now: "Announcement to publishers who reshaped business models around Facebook. Bye."


Golly! Who would have thought it was a bad idea to shape your business model exclusively around facebook’s news feed algorithm without any contractual relationship with them?!

Seriously, I won’t shed a single tear for these “”””publishers””””.

Yep. It's just clever spin on making publications pay for their FB "subscribers" to even see their posts.

Twitter did the same thing to devs using their API to make apps.

If it's bad for journalists and advertisers then it's good for users.

There's a meaningful difference between journalists and advertisers. I know it's fashionable to bash "the media" but I wouldn't want to live in a world without journalism. Advertising I could take or leave.

> There's a meaningful difference between journalists and advertisers.

In the dictionary, sure. In reality, for as long as advertisers are how journalists get paid, that difference is whittling towards nil.

That's pretty obviously not true. I didn't see advertisers covering the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Harvey Weinstein or tax reform, to pick just three things from the last year.

I am not saying "journalists only cover what advertisers will cover".

I am saying "journalist's standards are increasingly coming second to the generation of advertising revenue".

Once-reptutable media empires embed Outbrain widgets and generate fad-focused, celebrity-focused clickbait garbage because it makes them money. They are not doing this for Journalism's sake. They are doing it for revenue from advertisers. I understand that this is an ancient phenomenon (PG's "suits back in style" essay comes to mind), but I have observed the scale and shallowness of the phenomenon worsening as the coffers get lighter at the news orgs.

For that reason, I am arguing that the "meaningfulness" of the difference between advertisers and journalists appears to be waning.

Um. Not really. The media covers that which gets clicks / eyeballs. That gets turned into revenue via advertisers.

When you gather news from enough sources you start to see patterns in what gets a lot of attention, and what doesn't.

Long to short, you're naive if you don't think there's a straight line been the mainstrean news media and advertisers.

Note: The mainstream news media should also not be confused with journalism. The reasons are obvious.

We’ve lived in a world without “journalism” for, I would guess, decades? The internet is slowly giving us the option of journalism back, but it’s going to take time to reanimate that corpse.

It depends. Some people use Facebook "likes" as a crappy replacement for RSS, so it's probably not great for them.

As someone who runs a business partly driven by people who use Facebook as a crappy replacement for RSS, I can confirm. Facebook made a change a while back where people who explicitly followed my page to keep up to date on local events and businesses suddenly were not seeing anything I posted. I had to start paying Facebook to keep them showing things to people, but even that is far slower than it had been. Out of about 2000 people following my page, I used to have around 1500 seeing my posts per week, now it's down to under 500.

My readers are pretty upset, complaining to me that I don't post enough anymore and they're missing events they wanted to know about, but I can't make Facebook show them what Facebook doesn't want to show them. I tell the people to go directly to my website, but for a lot of them Facebook is the only website that exists.

It's a small town without a newspaper or any other media outlets, so I'm still trying to figure out how to keep on going because I think it's a worthwhile service. Facebook doesn't make it easy anymore though.

I understand that your audience is unlikely to setup an rss reader, but what about an old fashioned newsletter? Build a simple website (if you don't have one already) and let people subscribe to your events/announcements via email. Services like Mailchimp would come in handy to manage subscriptions, create newsletters and, of course, send them.

Also, explain the problem to your facebook users and encourage them to use the email subscription to not miss any future events.

Here's your experience summed up in comic form:


Seems to be a common thing.

Damn that's so true.

This, essentially, is Facebook's business model.

Which isn't necessarily a bad thing... I pay to get access to my audience. I wish I only paid to get access to a new expanded audience, but I understand the reality of business.

My main complaint is, people explicitly chose to follow my content and got used to seeing it... and now it's all gone. They still follow, but they don't see. Even if I pay, it's not guaranteed to hit the same audience I had before.

I'm curious, what kind of ad rates are you seeing from Facebook to appeal to people locally in that small town? Do you consider it expensive? Does it seem artificially high (ie way out of line with what other local ad platforms might have been in the past such as a small town newspaper or radio station), or does Facebook seem to properly proportion the rates down based on the value of a small local economy etc etc?

I guess what I'm asking, is, does Facebook consider the value of you trying to reach those users, on a globally competitive basis (so you're competing with Nike for their attention), or is it cost effective on a more localized basis (you're competing with Sam's Plumbing on third street in the small town)? I haven't tried to reach users on Facebook in the style you're describing, so I'm not familiar with how costly it is comparatively.

Facebook gives you the option of how much to pay and says how many people you may reach with that money. I currently pay $1 per day, which lets me reach about 800 out of my 2000 followers every week. Each post ends up being seen by 50-100 people unless someone interacts with it (such as a like, share, etc), then it can get up around 200-500 depending on the interaction.

I have no idea what a newspaper would charge for similar exposure, but I can tell you that at $1 per day, I'm often paying more money than I'm making from my site.

For comparison, six months ago I was reaching nearly 100% of my followers each week and each post would easily be seen by 500 people no matter what. It's been an absolutely catastrophic drop-off.

> My main complaint is, people explicitly chose to follow my content and got used to seeing it... and now it's all gone. They still follow, but they don't see.

They're the product, so it doesn't matter if they get what they want or not, so long as they come back.

> Even if I pay, it's not guaranteed to hit the same audience I had before.

If it was guaranteed, what incentive would you have to pay Facebook more?

>If it was guaranteed, what incentive would you have to pay Facebook more?

Well the way products usually work is the company says "pay me this amount and here is what you'll get". The way Facebook works is "Pay me... no, a bit more. Maybe a bit more. No, there's no guarantee of what you'll get in return. Don't like it? Pay a bit more then." The relationship between content creators and Facebook is a partnership. Facebook wouldn't be worth anything without users, and users would have a smaller audience without Facebook. The last thing you want is for that to tip too far in one direction.

Have you ever used Facebook ads? They're not exactly straightforward, and there's no "pay this amount to reach everyone who says they want to read your content". You can excuse their exploitative business model all you want, but it only works until there's a viable alternative.

> You can excuse their exploitative business model all you want, but it only works until there's a viable alternative.

I'm not excusing it, I just want to put it in stark relief because I dislike it.

>My main complaint is, people explicitly chose to follow my content and got used to seeing it... and now it's all gone.

That was exactly my point : Facebook's business model is to encourage businesses to accumulate followers and to then charge them for communicating with those followers.

SMS marketing is an option if your userbase isn't in to using the internet enough for email notifications to be an alternative to facebook updates.

I really do need to set up more mailing lists. I had it set up but I always got far greater reactions and click-through from Facebook so I haven't fully explored all my email options. Seems like it's time to jump back on that.

I was one of those people.

It's... shocking, how much of that noise that you can get by without.

To be fair, I'm missing out on a ton of news with regards to the community and culture that I used Facebook to participate in - but my life is measurably better in every other metric for having left the platform. Getting BMX racing news second-hand is a small price to pay for having my mind back.

(Disclaimer: I spent 20+ hours per week on Facebook. It's mostly nice to have those 20+ hours back, and not having to be constantly bombarded by all the evil of this world is a huge plus, too.)

I can't be smug though. HN has become my replacement for RSS. Surely even Facebook is a better approximation.

It's only bad for media companies who use pretty awful tactics to get eyeballs.

The trick is really to stop worrying about clicks to your site and focus on good content that people will engage with (share, comment, like, whatever). If it's good content people respond well to it and will seek out your brand.

You see the same thing with the savvy companies on Instagram/Snapchat/etc

It's only bad if you're essentially a click-bait factory.

Facebook has a metric they use to determine if they're going to show people your post, and it has to do with the first few people who see it. If they see it and don't interact with it, it disappears and no one else will see it.

That really reinforces clickbait, but it also makes sure that you absolutely need those first few impressions to really count. Good content doesn't matter if the algorithm keeps it hidden.

That's... an incredible over-simplification of their algorithms. To the point of ridiculousness.

THIS ^ If you are good generating good quality content that engages in a meaningful way, then you have nothing to worry about.

These days I’m extremely skeptical of recently created accounts whose only comments are political and two of which bash journalists.

“Journalists” being those making their money by being shared on Facebook are the least journalistic.

There’s still something eerily uncomfortable about how they want me to log in so much and check everything. They basically lie about it now, finding any excuse to put a colored flag on something.

Recent example: while I was logged out, they put my picture on their “quick login” page with a little red number “2” on my photo. Well gee, turns out there wasn’t “2” of anything in my profile to see: no unread messages, etc.; no, it was just made-up crap to make me want to go check Facebook again.

Not sure why Facebook is so desperate for attention that they need to LIE to get it but advertisers should be concerned: anything Facebook claims about “active users”, etc. is probably greatly exaggerated.

> Recent example: while I was logged out, they put my picture on their “quick login” page with a little red number “2” on my photo. Well gee, turns out there wasn’t “2” of anything in my profile to see: no unread messages, etc.; no, it was just made-up crap to make me want to go check Facebook again.

I've seen this too: I created an empty profile once for some reason. The email account that I setup for it very quickly started getting messages like "you have 1 new notification - log in." When I did that, there wasn't a damn thing there.

Spammers gonna spam. Anything sent to me from "notification@facebookmail.com" or "noreply@facebookmail.com" goes straight to the trash, and the problem is solved.

Oh brother... the quote at the end there? "It’s important to me that when Max and August grow up that they feel like what their father built was good for the world." Why does it bother me? Let me analyze.

OK 1) There are people out there who live their whole lives according to good values pretty much the whole time, and don't need the shock of parenthood to finally make them care about acting like a decent human being. And most are not 2) billionaires. However, quite a few apparently do need that little kick in the pants, which explains 3) how trite this sentiment is.

But owing precisely to how common it is, we may never know if this is something Zuckerberg actually feels, or if it's 4) just something he picked up that he thought sounded like something an earthling might say. A nice platitude to conceal the true market-driven motivation for this move, and 5) you just know there is one.

Also even assuming it's sincere, there's a prominent tone of 6) narcissism in it, when people suddenly start caring about their legacy. (Like "my legacy" and "how I will be viewed" as opposed to anything about the kids themselves or you or me or anyone that person might've hurt.)

I feel like as outlandish as it is, South Park's animated version of him, voiced like a badly dubbed Hong Kong martial arts actor, saying "Ha ha ha, you cannot block my shtoyle" and such, is more convincing & realistic than the reality!

I like to apply a test to myself, which I fail every time. Goes as follows:

Can I literally write down a statement that would have changed my perspective on this statement/issue/perspective?

Most things that I'm against, I cannot imagine myself not being against. One possible explanation is Zuckerberg is evil incarnate, but I believe the world is much more nuanced than that. If I cannot bring to life (and even metaphorically "try on" the other perspective), there is a high probability that I am too biased to offer a fair judgement.

I hear ya, and obviously I would fail as well, though a few years of statements backed up by actions would definitely change my perspective. We'll just have to wait & see!

"Sharing" is spamming.

I'm interested in what my friends write. I have little interest in what they share, especially if it's commercial content.

I agree. I've unfollowed so many friends because they are basically little machines designed to share everything they see on Facebook. I'm missing tons of moments from their lives and it gets awkward when my brother asks me if I saw his Facebook post the other day, but man I wish I could choose to see written posts but not shared posts.

man I wish I could choose to see written posts but not shared posts.

Exactly. And Facebook won't give you that.

I remember when that was only what I saw on facebook

I've noticed that very few actually write or post content to Facebook at this point. Of cause it may just be within my circle of friends, but it's mostly just stuff people liked or shared. At this point, if Facebook would allow me to just view friends posted content, chronologically, then I could browse a weeks worth of posts in five minutes.

The trend of people posting updates on their lives on Facebook is dead I think. Either people have moved to snapchat, or they don't want to play that game anymore. Facebook has been reduce to a platform for party invites and messaging.

The News Feed algorithm is a plague for everyone who is not Facebook or its shareholders. Who knows if I will see something written by a "friend"? Who knows if "friends" will see something I write? What if they "share" or "like" it; does that make a difference? I guess this is how all those poor pigeons felt inside Skinner's boxes.

I've unfollowed everyone. My feed only shows past memories. I love my feed. I highly recommend it.

I'm very similar to you, though I think I still have about 50/1000 friends followed. I get maybe 2-3 new posts on my timeline on a "good day". Anyone who posts anything political or vitriolic gets unfollowed. Generally I only see happy things like travel photos, humorous posts, etc.

FB constantly nags me to "add more friends" to see more posts. I love my happy feed. :)

I've recently started putting my photos on Apple's iCloud photo library (both on my iPhone and Mac) and every now and again I'll get a notification from the Photos app saying it's create a new Memory (a collection of photos in a "smart album" put together by their AI).

Has a very similar nostalgic feeling to what you're describing, and a welcome surprise - especially after a long day at work.

Sounds like Facebook, and indeed the internet, is an unneccesary middleman for you.

I thought so too at first but note that there is a distinction between unfollow and unfriend.

See their response to a sibling of yours. They still use fb to keep in touch with people, just not have them on the newsfeed.

Internet is an interconnection medium. People use this tool in very different ways.

I understand this is an hyperbole, but it sounds really too far fetched. Facebook is not the internet.

True, unless your from a country where "free basics" is you're only offering ;-)

Facebook didn't launch with a newsfeed.

You can still use FB for, say, Messenger instead of News Feed.

Edit: OP says they “unfollowed” everyone, as opposed to unfriending, which is what I’m basing this off of.

Have you ever considered that you might be narcissistic? Why on earth would you want to go on social media only to view self centred experiences?

To have access to messenger to keep in touch for the people that are hooked on FB. Killing the feed has helped me stop wasting time mindlessly scrolling FB. Sorry, the memories comment wasn't meant to show narcissism but it's honestly the only thing that appears.

As an unabashed narcissist... I like your style. ;)

Yes, unlike those paragons of insight and community spirit taking selfies and updating their feeds with each thought, meal, and bowel movement.

Be real, social media is intended to magnify narcissistic ego through engagement, not disengagement.

The very first sentence of Zuckerberg's FB post says:

> One of our big focus areas for 2018 is to make sure that the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.

"Time well spent" is also the name of an organization that is one of Facebook's strongest critics:


I wonder if the phrasing is deliberate.

The name originally came from Facebook (and earlier uses by other companies) and was used by timewellspent.io.

Yes it's absolutely deliberate. He's been using the term specifically a lot lately.

So they will finally embed Social Fixer into the website itself?

>we will also prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.

Ugh... Lately I've had posts from weeks ago sticking to the top of my news feed. It gets really old logging in and seeing exactly the same content day after day, especially knowing things are happening and people are posting but I'm not seeing it.

What we need is more fine-grained filters, Mark. Not your prediction algorithms.

> It's easy to understand how we got here.

and also easy to explain: the quest for ad revenue

I'm guessing that this change won't affect the dopamine-release strategy they were engaging with before. There are far more issues with Facebook rather than the need to tweak the network to ad post ratio in the news feed.

It's remarkable how closely the evolutions of the facebook "the product" track the evolutions of facebook "the founder". Zuckerberg starts his professional life as a college bro making tools for college bros, then a few steps later he's married and has kids and it's all about family and true connection, less about broadcasting to the world.

Wait, Facebook cares about engagement between people instead of between people and ad-supported lowest common demoninator content? Could have fooled me over the past several years. I’m really cynical about FB but it really has earned it.

I hope it becomes more useful, because for me their original value proposition to users was great but has totally lost its way as they’ve monetized.

Yea, at this point I'd be willing to pay $10/month for a social network that respected my privacy, didn't bombard me with ads, and just generally treated me as a customer, rather than product.

The trick of course is convincing anyone who isn't me to pay :)

Heck, maybe it should be a non-profit.

I use umatrix chrome extension to block FB and twitter to the max and almost every ad server. That keeps FB and twitter and a bunch of other nonsense out.

Just... get your real friends to text you.

If they won't text you, they're not your real friends. (This isn't always true, but I'd say that it's 95% accurate.)

I'm not being condescending or pretentious. I have done this, over the last few months, and it's helped me to realize who's really worth having in my life on a daily basis, and who's not.

I don't want my friends texting me everything. That's far more disruptive than a passive feed I can glance at. And I don't want to text my friends everything either.

One of the great things about Facebook is the unexpected social interactions. I post a picture and someone I haven't talked to in a while comments something really great on it and sparks a conversation and rekindles the friendship. That's not going to happen over text.

People in my life on a daily basis are in my life on a daily basis. People in my life occasionally are on Facebook.

We have a Telegram group with all the important people.

Just mute it so you can passively read it. And if it's something specifically for you they can @handle you.

Also we have more specific groups for gaming, memes, serious, homework,...

Oh and a "huge" group were we can add new people at first, that somebody randomly met somewhere. So they can maybe get friends with some of the others too.

That’s fair.

I am personally going through a period where I need to tighten my circle and cut down on the number of people that I communicate with on a given day, so that’s what’s driving my approach.

Thank you for sharing your perspective.

> I don't want my friends texting me everything. That's far more disruptive than a passive feed I can glance at. And I don't want to text my friends everything either.

Real friendships aren't passive.

You have a very restrictive view of what a real friendship is. I'm sorry, but you don't get to define my relationships, that is not your right.

It was called app.net, and it went out of business a few years back because no one wanted to pay for it.


Most instance admins have a Patreon and/or Liberapay if you want to send $10/month their way.

> The trick of course is convincing anyone who isn't me to pay :)

Honestly, maybe invites/sponsorships? One person who care's enough to pay $10 can bring his "social graph" (or a subset) with him.

This change was tested for months in several smaller countries including mine. I am not on facebook, but I know that media here hate the change. They lost tens of percents of traffic overnight.

This plus the Adblock wars makes me wonder if there's anything that would make both consumers and media happy at the same time, or whether the relationship is pseudo adversarial by nature now.

I was super happy mid-90s when we spent our own money to self-publish, as both a consumer and publisher.

Publishing a static set of lightly styled HTML pages to massive audiences is shockingly cheap.

> They lost tens of percents of traffic overnight

This is not necessarily a bad thing for users

It is if those users wanted to see that content.

The FB feed has been terrible since it changed from a chronological list. Doubt this will improve anything.

Unless you have a small number of FB contacts (AKA “friends”) chrono is probably rapidly overwhelmed. I wanted chrono too, but it’s just too much.

OTOH it’s absurd that if you want to see again that post you saw last week — or this morning! — you probably can’t find it. That can be true in the HN firehouse too though sometimes you can dredge it out of your browser history. Good luck trying that w/FB

My gf works on this at FB (don’t know if she works on this particular change) and she says her group talks every day about the difficulty of finding stuff. I don’t know if those discussions are part of her work or it’s just they have the same problems. I just know that when I gripe about any UX issues or the shittiness of their app she just sighs and says, “yeah, we know”

> OTOH it’s absurd that if you want to see again that post you saw last week — or this morning! — you probably can’t find it.

Try 2 seconds ago. Open facebook, browse, start to close facebook, see something interesting, but it's too late the tab is closing, oh well, re-open facebook, too bad it's gone forever you'll never see it again.

Worse yet, if you use the Facebook app to follow a link someone posted and leave it open for awhile, when you then hit the back button to close the browser and return to your feed, the post containing the link will no longer be on your screen, or even easy to find. Makes it near impossible to comment on it, re-share it, etc.

OTOH it’s absurd that if you want to see again that post you saw last week — or this morning! — you probably can’t find it

Forgive my ignorance, don’t have a FB account, but there’s no “search the feed” functionality? That crazy, WTH is the point if something blips by and I have no way to find it again? Something something monetization, but it seems like that would be a major oversight.

But silly me, I’m probably making the mistake of looking at it from the user’s perspective.

It worked fine for me when it was chronological previously - albeit, I was using it differently.

In fact, I would say its harder to find stuff nowadays because if you close the page and then come back and the algorithm has weighted something off the page, you can't find it again.

Back in the day, I used to use it like a messageboard essentially, communicating at peak times with my group of friends.

If there was a post I was communicating on earlier, notifications let me know it was still happening, or I could go onto the page of the person who wrote the status.

Nowadays, its more like a blog of the popular stuff and I see the same people dominating my feed and the same posts appear for long periods - which is one of the reasons I go onto it very rarely nowadays.

That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's not what I enjoyed about it back when I actually used it regularly.

Your list of friends that you should be keeping up with should be small.

For what it's worth, HN's search feature is killer and has never let me down.

Is this sarcasm, or are you referring to Algolia?

It’s not! I just use the search bar on the bottom of HN. I can always find what I’m looking for.

I never even knew that was there!

First it was an option to still use the chronological list. Then the option was only temporary. Then they buried the option under Feeds > Most Recent. Sometimes it's even hidden and you have to hit "See More..." and scroll down. Even then it's only temporary until you re-open the app. A dark pattern for sure.

If you have Pages which you really like, you can emphasize them with See First as the press release notes:

> Can people still see posts from the Pages they follow at the top of News Feed?

> Yes. People who want to see more posts from Pages they follow can choose See First in News Feed Preferences to make sure they always see posts from their favorite Pages

> The FB feed has been terrible since it changed from a chronological list

Isn’t there still an option to rank chronologically? It just isn’t the default. In any case, the news feed has been a quantitative success in terms of engagement metrics.

I don't think it's stictly honest about showing all posts chronologically--it still hides many that it decides aren't worth your time, time that can be better spent viewing ads. Even then, the choice to view it chronologically expires every 2 days or so, and you're back to the default.

I recall there was a most recent option and a top stories option. It seems the feed often got reset to top stories so you had to pay attention.

Same with Instagram, it's a major reason why I no longer use the service.

It will "maximize eyeballs", which is the desired result for them.

I thought the goal was to maximize the dopamine releasing Likes.

Edit: to hook people on FB to increase eye ball time (which translates to more ad exposure as well as improving individual profiling and ad targeting)

I believe this is step 1 in entering/dominating another industry: influencer marketing. Hear me out. I have 3 friends who have started “influencer marketing” companies that fly out 20 or so influencers, and brands pay for posts during their trip. I’m not too well attuned to the economics of it, but from what I can see, it’s profitable.

Facebooks move of doing this is probably to ultimately purposefully change the incentives for advertisers. Now, advertisers, who have went all in to social networks will have to retain that channel, since it happens to work so well. And they’ll be paying more per ad, as a result of the economics of this new marketing paradigm. Influencers (when FB takes over this market, I’m sure they/we won’t be called that) and Facebook is, please excuse my use of a buzzword, a true synergy. I mean, who wouldn’t want free stuff* (with the catch that you have to post about the product x times in a given time frame)? By using the whole network as a conduit for advertising, I think this is going to be huge.

I think you're right, influencers are going to get bigger. They're kind of like a contracted-out or part-time sales team. Or another way of looking at it, they're living commercials.

Eventually FB will see influences as a challenge to their own ad network (the only ads on FB must go thru FB!), so I agree with you, FB will try to take it over. PS I wonder why you got a downvote.

Too late. Noone around my family and friends share nothing in Facebook for long time. In 2018, it’s probably the worst platform to connect to people. The best thing I did in 2017 was to permanently delete my Facebook account. Thankfully they now allow you to divorce with their app at least.

So, like it was in the beginning? That's some innovation right there, boy.

Everything old is new again.

Sounds like they're returning the feed to what it was back around 2007-2009 ish (when I first remember it). Or at least attempting to do so.

I looked through my newsfeed this week for the first time in several months.

I thought the amount of trash posts and videos (which caused me to leave Facebook) had greatly declined, but wasn’t sure why. If it’s related to this change, it’s a good start.

While I’m skeptical of Facebook, I appreciate their attempt to improve if it’s genuine.

What's your criteria for "genuine"?

from the article: “We want to make sure that our products are not just fun, but are good for people,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “We need to refocus the system.”

genuine for me, is making changes that are good for people, even if they are bad for advertisers.

You can of course do that "overhaul" yourself by installing a filter like F.B.Purity

I welcome the changes, and am open to giving Zuckerberg's pledge to investigate decentralization this year[1] a fair shake.

He has a lot of work and convincing to do to fulfill these lofty goals and inspire us to take him seriously. Nothing against Zuckerberg specifically, even -- just that corporate incentives and business momentum are mighty forces to be contended with, even assuming Mark is acting in good faith and full capacity.


Important to note, Facebook has been hiding posts by pages in the feed to users in Eastern Europe (Serbia, where I live), and it results in a much cleaner and less noisy feed, but people can still go to the Explore Feed and see posts by pages...

More on this: https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/23/facebook-page-feed/

yes please! The reason I don't use facebook anymore is because it doesn't present me anything I care about. Just memes, news and updates in some sale groups I am part of. I'm not complaining that it doesn't hog me as much as it used to, but the reason why I still have a account is to keep in touch with friends and acquaintances and see what's going in in their life

it is pretty easy to curate your own feed though, just unfollow/unfriend the people posting noise. I see maybe 1-2 new posts a day on average.

Funny this was reason I've been using G+ to share photos with friends and family since they 'stay' in the news feed.

I see. FB is adopting a similar model to Tecent's WeChat Moments in which users primarily see content shared by friends and family. It worked for WeChat but let's how it goes for Facebook.

I have long critiqued Facebook for chasing after ad revenue at the expense of the experience they offer users. In light of this news, the following quote comes to mind: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

I generally feel that Facebook has traveled so far in the wrong direction, coming back to any sense of morality will be an extremely hard job. That being said, I wonder if they truly understood the extent of their "shady" tactics. It's all too easy to focus on shareholders and forget about the real people using your service. All told, this does at least feel like a step in the right direction.

This is actually a good update, coming from someone who is above-average disgusted with the blue F


As much as I dislike Zuckerberg, I do feel like early IM chats made over a decade ago while he was in college is not meaningful anymore.

The context there is important there. He didn’t call them dumbfucks for using Facebook, but made the observation that a small subset that work at the school newspaper are dumbfucks.

Not saying it’s right, but that quote is taken wildly out of context all the time.

Here's the quote. I don't see how it is has anything to do with newspaper people. He says "anyone at Harvard."

  > Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
  > Zuck: Just ask
  > Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
  > [Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?
  > Zuck: People just submitted it.
  > Zuck: I don't know why.
  > Zuck: They "trust me"
  > Zuck: Dumb fucks

What did you write to your friends on IM when you were 19 yourself ?

Nothing like that at all.

Just show all things from all subscribed sources in chronological order, add pagination, filtering and sorting, and you might have yourself something.

The newsfeed should be a cronological list of posts from your sources. Then you could have some filter functionality that YOU control

I remember when Google+ was like that. It was so perfect. You could even set a frequency (with a slider!) for posts from each individual source.

Facebook = weapon of mass disinformation Smartphone = weapon of mass distraction The 'perfect' storm.

next? AR/VR = weapon of mass delusion?

I just want a date ordered list of everything my friends have posted. Is that too much to ask for?

The fact that I'm not allowed to order my newsfeed by latest permanently is a big problem!

I have the same issue, I wouldn't call it a big problem, just annoying. What it does is show us where Facebook believe there's a possibility to make a profit, and it's not by keeping you up to date with your friends lives.

Sure, at minimum it is annoying. For me i'm always checking latest political, sports or technology news, although this might come across pretty bad but I put my facebook "world" in the same category so I want the latest updates all the time

Zuckerberg is painfully slow. Makes me really question his so-called “genius”.

I just wish they would stop tracking me and everyone I interact with whenever and wherever

Install newsfeed eradicator. Best decision I ever made.

The news feed offers nothing.

The best decision ever was to log out.

I think Facebook is basically the replacement of the newspaper at this point. Oh well....

Years ago they pitched this exact idea/goal at F8 I believe.

Horrible news. Now this stupid thing will be less horrible and will keep people who were leaving.

Or maybe it will just go back to the point it was when I left, in 2013, which was already very unbearable.

Facebook = weapon of mass disinformation Smartphone = weapon of mass distraction

next? VR/AR = weapon of mass delusion ?

I don't understand, here is my news feed right now: - A beautiful video from Patrick Seabase (person that I follow) - A post from a friend asking a question I don't know the answer to, but already 8 comments. - A post from The Economist (that I follow). This article is not relevant to my interest but sometime they are. - A post about about a comment that one of my friend left on another post (this the kind of post I don't want to see) - A friend posted a video of something funny happening in my home town. - A post from my mayor telling us that the snow removing in the street is nearly done. - A post from CityLab relevant to me.

So on and so forth. If your feed is irrelevant, it's your fault...

I am very surprised by the general vibe in here that FB are doing this for the users or to promote responsible social networking. IMHO They poisoned the well by disrespecting their users [1] and are now trying to undo the damage. Just like Apple were very sorry after they got caught slowing iPhones.

[1] https://www.inc.com/jeff-bercovici/facebook-sharing-crisis.h...

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