Even though social media has done more than its fair share to connect the world, deterrents have always held a grouse against it. They believe these sites (and now apps) disallow a person from living in the present and create a greater gap between one’s family and themselves. Facebook itself has admitted that 0.28% of its users have expressed unhappiness over the fact that their news feed is clogged with updates and posts from media houses, advertisements and other pages while friends’ and family’s posts are nowhere to be seen.
THIS made the social media giant sit up and take note and Facebook’s Lars Backstrom stated that “Facebook was built on the idea of connecting people with their friends and family. That is still the driving principle of News Feed today. Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook”. Considering that the daily audience visiting the site is over a billion with at least 15000 being shared among them, prioritizing each one’s personal feed is no mean task. But in June 2016, the networking giant decided to make this a reality. Facebook did specify that if the activity on pages is driven more by people who’ve liked the page than the page itself, it will still have prominent visibility. They also gave companies, organisations and pages tips on how to optimize posts and links in the way of digital marketing strategy so as to be more shareable.
Some users indicated skepticism over Facebook’s ability to follow through on its promises pointing out that while the news feed layout does change multiple times, there is no drastic advantage so far while some others marveled at the uber-fast call for change based on latest reports. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology found out that for users to keep coming back to social media portals, they have to feel connected. They need to be able to see posts and pictures relevant to them along with being able to remain updated on their family’s and friends’ lives.
In response to allegations from earlier in the year, Facebook decided to unveil its set of core values and digital strategies which they said determined the workings of the news feed. Its algorithm, they revealed is constantly trying to come up with the posts a user will find interesting, informative and engaging. The Vice President of product management said that they try their best to ensure this happens not only because it is the right thing to do but it is also good for business.
At its core, social media has gained the popularity it enjoys because people are not only able to connect, but connect selectively. And as Facebook has discovered, as interesting as the world outside gets, it is always family and friends first.