Monday 13 February, 2017
Does it just make your day when you see a cute smiling kitty cat with a funny quote or a short Vine of a hefty guy breaking a tire swing? If so, your Facebook feed might become a bit less interesting for you.
Facebook doesn’t think these bits of ephemeral content are at all amusing and they’ve sworn to weed them out.
Changes to Your News Feed
Engineers at Facebook have announced that they’re making changes to its news feed. They say there will be more news and fewer memes. Although they singled out memes in particular, they also said you’ll see less of the one-hit laugh content that’s clogging news feeds these days like Bitstrips, Vines, non-informational links and anything else that won’t be as funny tomorrow.
The Facebook Exodus
It’s been reported that users sift through about 80% of their Facebook news feeds. If this is accurate, it means that there’s almost as much finger-swishing going on here than on Twitter, and that’s a lot of skipping over junk content.
This fall, there has supposedly been an exodus from Facebook, reportedly due to this preponderance of junk content. It’s what people are now calling ‘Facebook fatigue’ and most alarming to the social media giant, a great deal of Facebook fatigue’s sufferers are the young folks it relies on.
High vs. Low Quality
Facebook is also simply trying to create a better experience for its users. From the company itself:
Our surveys show that on average people prefer links to high quality articles about current events, their favorite sports team or shared interests, to the latest meme. Starting soon, we’ll be doing a better job of distinguishing between a high quality article on a website versus a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook when people click on those stories on mobile. This means that high quality articles you or others read may show up a bit more prominently in your News Feed, and meme photos may show up a bit less prominently.
In addition, Facebook is now trying to court media companies and show them that it’s a good place for mobile content. This means a place that’s not clogged up with junk content nobody even reads.
What Is Quality?
How will Facebook decide what’s quality and what’s not? Will it favor certain publishers over others? The above quote specifically mentioned memes hosted elsewhere, so they’re certain to go.
The quote above hints that it will take into account how well content performs. Let the users decide. Probably, the content that gets the most interaction will be favored.
If you use Facebook, you know that some users meme you to death. It’s easy content to share. Some post meme after meme. Memes are slightly humorous at best and sometimes get comments like, ‘So true!’ But at worst they’re horribly annoying and they give link juice to low quality sites that offer only disposable low-information content.
This update will be good for quality content providers whose content will be more easily seen on news feeds. Also, it will be good for news sites, blogs and other content providers. But it won’t be so good for the meme directories.