Wednesday 08 January, 2014
Facebook rolled out some changes recently. One of the new features is Story Bumping. Story Bumping takes stories that are popular and bumps them up higher in your news feed. What it considers popular is an update that gets a great deal of engagement in the form of likes, comments and shares. Of course, the idea behind Story Bumping and other changes is to create a better user experience, but the new news feed experience is actually annoying to some users.
Why Story Bumping Bugs People
The gripe against Story Bumping is that you keep seeing the same content over and over. Before this feature, your news feed displayed stories in chronological order. Now, popular stories appear at the top, no matter when they were posted.
Here’s an example to illustrate why this is annoying. In the morning, you peruse your news feed to see what’s happening. Lunch rolls around and you check your news feed again. The newer content that has been posted since the morning when you last checked is all fresh content you haven’t seen yet.
But with Story Bumping, an update you already read in the morning may appear again at the top of your news feed. If a particular story is getting a lot of comments, it’ll stay on top. Unless you’re interested in reading those comments, you’re not likely to want to see the update again.
A Good Experience for Brands
Actually, although Story Bumping is sold as a way to give users a better experience with Facebook, this doesn’t appear to me to be the case at all. It appears that it’s more about creating a good experience for brands and marketers. It rewards users who create engaging posts and that’s exactly what businesses are trying to do on Facebook.
If you create a post that gets a lot of engagement, more people will see it. As it gets bumped to the top of news feeds, people who didn’t check their news feed in the morning will see it at lunch.
This is actually part of Facebook’s effort to attract brands and businesses.
How to Stop Story Bumping
I’ve found an incredibly easy way to prevent bumped stories from clogging up your news feed with content you’ve already seen. In the upper right-hand corner of an update is a pull-down menu. On that menu, there’s an option that allows you to hide the update. Click this and it will disappear forever from your news feed.
The other option is to just swish your way through annoying posts that you’ve seen before and you’re not interested in using. But then Facebook starts to look a little bit like Twitter, doesn’t it?