After a long day out and about in my new city I returned home and read through a few acting opportunities, scanned the news, and then clicked over to Facebook to see what was going on. o.O My NewsFeed is set to “Most Recent” except when Facebook/something, not me, changes it to “Top Stories” so I anticipate that I’ll see something new from a friend. Today I saw someone’s post in my feed who I’ve interacted with online less than a handful of times more than 4 years ago. What. The. Truck, Facebook?! That led me to write and post this to my Friends on Facebook knowing that the people behind the News Feed algorithm could see it.
Facebook. Hi, how are you doing? Busy huh? That’s awesome. I have a small favor to ask. Could you do me a solid? I’m sure it’ll be pretty easy for you. So, this News Feed thing, it can be pretty cool when I see news that’s timely and important to me but here’s the thing, you are showing me news from people I don’t talk to on a regular basis. You’re not showing me posts from Pages I’m interested in, and the people I do talk to often almost, I wish I was exaggerating, never show up in the News Feed. What do you think, could you help me out? There’s a #hi5 in it for you. =)
I received a few replies and decided I needed to make this more public because my time on Facebook often feels like a endless scroll of “Please let there be something interesting to learn/read.” just below this post, that post, er the next post.
Improve the NewsFeed
Did you know you can “improve” the NewsFeed?
That’s a joke and is why I quoted it. More relevant and interesting news is not an ad, Facebook! Here’s what you’ll be prompted with when you opt to improve the NewsFeed – see the pic above. The following scale is shown above a story from a Facebook Page or a Game…
Help us out please because this kind of ‘help’ is going to having us saying ‘enh’ more and more which means less time on the site and less ad revenue for you.
What I Want
I don’t want more cleverly worded posts that are ads but don’t ‘feel like ads.’
I don’t want to help you learn how best to tweak language and images to slip more ads into the stream.
I don’t want to waste my time improving something with a tool that doesn’t actually improve my experience.
What I do want is news from Friends who I engage with and Pages, yes Pages! Remember, you pushed for their ecosystem to exist and everyone bought into the idea.
I know, I know. If I engage with a Page enough you’ll start showing me some of their posts but what about all the other Pages I’ve liked?
You know a TON about me and who I talk to so don’t say it’s too hard. We all know that you’re tracking our web travels with cookies, etc. which means you know who I’m talking to, sites I’m visiting, yadda yadda yadda. There are some smart cookies in the room over there at FB who want to make the experience a positive one and know that the task is only getting more and more difficult because everyone’s circles change over time but, peeps, this is what you do. How much time would you spend trying to manually fix your NewsFeed? I’m betting the average user in FB Land would say “Huh? I can’t do that.”
Being Part of the Solution
Here’s an idea to consider, Facebook… Show a person’s profile pic once or twice a day and ask “Would you like to see more photos, posts, etc. from this person?” with a check mark next to each item. It’d take a little while but the NewsFeed would become incredibly useful to me and I’d wager many others. In fact it’d be a great to help organize friends into groups or even note them as Close Friends, Friends, or even Acquaintances. With Pages the same thing could be done. “Are you still a fan of XYZ? Would you like to see more of their posts?”
Please, Facebook peeps. Help us out. We use the site when there are reasons to interact with Friends, and Pages!, but we need a more accurate NewsFeed – i.e. what is happening in our lives and the world around us. As a fan of soccer/football I’d have imagined that any soccer/football related Page I’d liked in the past would have started showing up in my NewsFeed with the World Cup here. Nope. I had to seek out those pages and now that I’ve liked a bunch of posts they’re showing up in my NewsFeed (again). Help.