A decade or so ago, most of the content I saw on Facebook was original content from people I know. Most posts were either text written by someone I knew, or a photo taken by someone I knew. Perhaps not everybody shares this position, but what I most want from Facebook is to keep up with people I actually know. Here are the first 20 posts I see now:
7 shared images from strangers/pages. 1 screenshot from a TV show uploaded by a friend. 1 page updated its website. 1 shared video from strangers/pages. 2 "suggested" videos from a page. 1 photograph taken by a friend. 1 "memory" containing text written by the person who shared it. 3 links to a news story. 3 posts by a page.
That's 2/20 posts of original content from people I know. I've noticed that if I post original content, my friends are less likely to interact with it than a few years ago, probably because they, too are presented with such a huge amount of other content.
I know I can opt in to something like the old experience with the "friends feed" feature. Well, I can on the desktop site (if I bookmark it, click it each time, or use a browser extension); it appears to be missing from the mobile site and the Facebook Lite app. Anything I post is still disadvantaged though, because most people are using the default algorithmic feed.
On Instagram, every one of the first 20 posts I see is original content by a person or page I follow. 16 of those are individual people. I see shared third-party content on Instagram fairly rarely, probably because its UI doesn't encourage that.
What would get me to use Facebook more actively is a change to the algorithm that advantages original content over shared third-party content.
Facebook's initial foray into the app/mic biz was troubled and their statement was "we only listen for popular music / TV in the background in order to help you." It also came out that they mine personal messages between users.
"I’m not paranoid to think they are listening to the microphone but the coincidence is super uncanny."
We need to get past the block where we label people as paranoid for thinking these big corps might invade user's privacy.
I've seen the myth that Facebook is targeting ads based on what it hears debunked several times. Do you have a source that shows that it is in fact listening?
I think it's more likely that the same reason someone is talking about something (they're in a demographic interested in that thing) is the reason that Facebook gives you ads for that thing. Add in the Baader-Meinhof effect and it seems like Facebook is listening to your conversations.
Let's say Facebook NEVER listens to you... I'm 100% on board with them and their honesty. It still doesn't matter.
If you let ANY third party app listen to you, and identify you, for example the latest Candy Crush game, then your information along with preferences are being uploaded to databases for re-targeting.
When I do a big campaign in Facebook, or any sophisticated marketer does, I don't ask Facebook for users who like Cats and are looking for brands of organic cat food. I PROVIDE them a pre-vetted list of people looking for cat food that I generated and the emails associated with those Facebook accounts.
Facebook has NO WAY to know how I came up with my list, and no possible way to find out. It could have been from listening to conversations while someone played Candy Crush, or it could have been from a form submitted on my website.
One of these days I'm just going to actually document myself doing this and publish it to a website so more people understand what is happening and how easy it is to use data from people's conversations.
TLDR: Any time you buy a list of potential customers from a market research company, that data could have been gathered with conversation tracking. It's not Facebook's fault, it's just the reality.
Thinking about it, I might just remove it from Google as well since I don't really use voice search.
I just double-checked, and I have mine turned off. So, "requires"?
Evidence? Every time someone claims this it gets debunked.
Of course I realized shortly thereafter: "Do I really want better targeted ads on my Instagram feed?"
It's a little too late now but if I had to do it over again I would let it guess, mostly poorly, and that makes it easier to filter out the sponsored content.
I ask this because in that infamous Forbes article about Target and the pregnant girl they mention how they now add ads for things they don't think you are interested in, in an effort to creep people out less. (To me this feels a little worse) Plenty of groups do purposefully send false hits to make it less creepy to the target.
It was at its best when you could follow accounts, all of the posts of the people you follow would be displayed chronologically, and clicking on a hashtag would also display all posts under that tag chronologically.
Facebook removed the chronological order of the timeline, made it so you will not see all posts from the people you follow, started injecting posts and ads from accounts I do not follow, and did the same with hashtags where you will only see posts facebook decides you should see via their algorithm. Also, engagement with my page decreased 100-500% across the board and my consistent growth stopped entirely as I was not an "influencer" so people that followed me and checked my hashtags would rarely even see my posts
Facebook changed Instagram from an extremely functional social app that allowed you to easily interact with and become parts of niche communities, to a useless ad platform that limits your interactivity and connectivity to anything that you actually want to see to push you to whoever pays Facebook or whatever the algorithm decides what should be popular which ends up being the same garbage content that has plagued Facebook for years
There’s several large magazines that are 50% ad content. I bet that’s the ceiling.
Second post is always an ad. There’s an ad before they tell you you’re all caught up. And it looks like followed tags effect that ratio as well.
If you go above 50% ads, some print pages will be ads on both sides, and both may easily be ripped out and discarded--the earliest ad-blocker tech.
Pretty quickly I figured out that articles by Steven J Vaughan-Nichols were worth reading and the rest were generally not. But the ads were what we were looking for.
The PWA version is almost as good as the native app. It lacks a pull to refresh feature as far as I can tell, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
I regularly use Firefox Focus (which is also the system wide content blocker for me), but it doesn't seem like its blocking rules are updated often. Not sure if that's because of some limit in the number of rules allowed per blocking extension.
Maybe that’s a feature for some though.
So maybe that tricked the system? My only other theory would be that they somehow know I wouldn't use the service at all if it had ads. I'm a fickle user who happens to produce some quality, original artwork for their service.
I don't mind terribly if there are a few sponsored posts in any of my social media feeds. I suspect the acceptable rate is somewhere around one per five original content posts.
Equally annoying are the notifications menu (the actual notifications, I disabled a long time ago). I've been relying on them since the feed is useless but now they too have become cluttered with things like "posts you may have missed".
I would love a platform that is just original content (text and original media), and where any links are just text WITHOUT previews. Kinda like how Twitter used to be… but they seem to be heading in the same direction as FB, just less aggressively.
I've got this vague idea in my head of a WordPress plugin that cooperates with other WordPress installations with the plugin, such that your own blog could turn into a social network. So you publish content to your blog, and your blog pulls content from your friends' blogs with the plugin, and you can all comment on each other's posts and stuff. Tack on some kind of slick mobile app for uploading pictures and the like. I dunno.
But seriously what I have in mind is a lot more interactive than that. Roughly, your blog becomes your "account". You can follow other "accounts" (blogs), and you give other "accounts" permission to post on your blog in the form of comments, etc. When you change details on your account, like a profile image or whatever, it will get updated on all the linked accounts that follow you. I dunno, it all works pretty elegantly in my head.
Facebook has taken some steps in the same direction too, hiding any long post or comment behind a "read more" link and offering flashy backgrounds for 130 characters or less (plus enlarged text for 85 characters or less).
This comment doesn't fit in a tweet. It doesn't even fit into two tweets.
I believe that non-comercial social networks like Mastodon are then only places that can consistently show original content without eventually turning bad.
Unfortunately there is not a lot of people hanging out there, personally it's been hard for me to pull my friends away from twitter.
Twitter is basically complete toxic trash and I don't touch it.
There's a few friends that I've considered un-following completely because of how many times I've had to do this on their posts. One of them is my brother-in-law -- I called him out on it the last time I saw him, he admitted it's gotten out of hand.
It's baffling how many dumb meme pages there are. But even more baffling, is how many people actually have the motivation to maintain those meme pages. The people that are willingly following them, well, I've lost hope for them.
So many promoted tweets and the uncanny feeling that my feed is being shaped in strange and unwanted ways.
The straw that broke the camel's back was the banner where twitter declared that it was doing more tracking and targeting so that I would be served better ads, both on AND off of twitter. "Great!", "Learn more" were the two buttons.
I want my mindshare and my thought direction to be in my own control. The feeds are stealing my self control over my own thoughts. I hate it.
So, I waited and waited and eventually Facebook showed me an interesting ad instead of the non-stop barrage of Blue Apron clones. I interacted with the ad and overnight Facebook ads transformed into a better Reddit.
I'm sure the spam notifications A/B tested well for engagement though, /eyeroll.
What you're seeing is the results of dozens of teams individually optimizing against growth goals, which are actually inputs to a complex system that is difficult to predict.
This is true of any large organization really. It's just that the blind insistence on data at the micro level makes the effect far more profound.
They could increase engagement if they simply put this back -- providing filters for original content versus external.
I, too, only want to see original content from people I actually care about. However, "care about" is very loose here, because for people with few connections, this probably doesn't matter much, but for users that have many connections and pages, etc, it makes sense to condense and perhaps rank content that a user likes from their connections higher.
Facebook is more of a visual Twitter for me -- people post articles and we have discussions as Twitter's format doesn't facilitate discussions nearly as well.
<50% is new content from friends. 20% is ads. And 15% is marketplace (groups I can hide, I think). The value proposition isn't all that great.
There are two things keeping me on FB's main app - 1 - parents and other older relatives/friends - 2 - a small number of friends use it for event planning/invites.
Instagram is 100% friends posts (again, webpage, not app). When viewed through the app, Instagram is about 25% ads, with 2 "stories" widgets, and the rest is new content. Slightly better content/noise ratio, but the web page is better.
It won't effect their statistics and a larger group get's ( perhaps) a little bit less demotivated to go on Facebook.
The people that click on all says ads, nothing changes.