Wednesday, September 7, 2016

the tenth anniversary of the facebook news feed

Facebook’s News Feed Turns 10. Quote:
At first, people hated it. But much as they complained, Facebook’s data logs suggested they came around quickly. The News Feed caused more people to spend more time on Facebook, a trend that picked up speed during the years that followed. Meanwhile, nearly every other social web service, from Twitter to Instagram to Pinterest, adopted the format.
I always thought Facebook followed Twitter, but I guess Twitter was still in the phase of primarily using being an SMS-based notifier in 2006. I wrote about the power of the stream a few years ago (curious I didn't talk about RSS, though that's never been a huge player.) The ability to assemble a page from a bunch of people likely to write stuff you find interesting generally overwhelms the old individual blogosphere, and in fact only the most diverse news websites seem able to maintain an audience to their separate front page.

FB's curation seems unique to me; I think that is the most underappreciated feature of the site. It's much maligned. On other sites, like Twitter, users protest loudly whenever that service fiddles with its traditional "posts from everyone I'm subscribed to, in the order things were posted" model and the service backs down more often than not. On FB, people also pine for a simpler model, but their cries are generally unheeded.  I think most users don't realize what a fire hose an unfiltered set of posts from all their "friends" would be.

Actually, for me Twitter suffers from the same fire hose effect, and so I pay less attention to it. (Also, the 140 limit used to seem cute and pithy, but now feels so confining.) I tried using Twitter lists to get a more limited subset of posts, but those listss are oddly downplayed in main Twitter web UI. And anyway, it fails pretty hard in Zacho Holman's Don't Give Your Users S**t Work kind of way; having to keep up to date groupings of all your contacts is laborious.

No comments:

Post a Comment