Entries in Facebook (15)


Facebook's New News

Facebook is terribly fascinating as it sorts out its business model while trying to meet the expectations and experiences of its one billion or so users. The social network is at that juncture where business and social trends converge and has been there almost since 2004. Facebook is constantly balancing what it sees as social tsunamis with business need. 

It recently announced a revamping of what gets into our news feeds to help us "find more news to talk about". Look for more news articles and what it calls 'quality' content:

Why are we doing this? 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.

There is also the anticipated launch by Facebook of a news app called "Paper", which may look like Flipboard or Zite. Both steps will drive more traffic to host media sites  . . . who will pay at some point for this you can be sure.

But if it's true Paper will eschew 'trivial news", then I am all for it . . . as I imagine will be many grown-ups who are now moving in greater numbers to the former juvenile home of the selfie and party central. And that is just what Facebook hopes — a perfect marriage of commerce and social drift.  

Is Facebook becoming a social network for grown-ups? Maybe, as teenagers flee to Twitter for shopping and SnapChat, Instagram video and messaging apps like Kik. But with moves like these recent changes it makes me think Facebook isn't worrying too much that teens are going elsewhere for their network fix. 


09.09.13 — Facebook Changes Again

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Because they weren't self-evidently about marketing or new ways to make us more mindful of 'brands', recent changes to Facebook have slipped a little under the radar. Mainstream media coverage was slim. 

Buzzfeed's John Herman was the exception from what I was able to find (and if you consider Buzzfeed 'mainstream'). He took a thorough look at what Facebook has been up to in its battle with Twitter — yes, Twitter:

Last year, Facebook spent a lot of time and energy making the case that it should be a publicly traded company. This year, Facebook is making a new case: That its users’ data is ready to go public, too.

The gist of this new campaign is that Facebook, not Twitter, is home to the most important real-time conversations on the internet. This is counterintuitive for most people who use both services, and Facebook knows it. To whatever extent that there are important and centralized real-time “conversations” about news, politics and entertainment online, they seem to exist on Twitter.

Mr. Herman is talking about Facebook's announcement this week of two new APIs it hopes will push to center stage Facebook conversations on matters other than parties, kids, selfies and cats: the center stage in this case being Facebook media partners — Buzzfeed, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, BSkyB, Slate and Mass Relevance.

The two APIs — 'public feed' and 'keyword insights' — will let media organizations broadcast public Facebook conversations on trending subjects, aggregate "the total number of posts that mention a specific term in a given time frame and display these results based on gender, age and location."

Your public Facebook comments can now become part of any emerging news narrative.

Which I don't mind.

Assuming the conversations aren't manipulated to mutate the truth of a story — okay that is possible, if not likely, with some 'news' sources — they may add a little texture or heart, a bit of common sense judgment and some crowdsourced information, even knowledge.