Algorithms

May 22, 2015

It’s funny looking at my Facebook page and seeing just how the algorithms behind feed curation have changed.

All the “people reached” numbers below my posts from two or more years ago show around sixty percent of my Facebook followers saw those posts. That’s not great, but it’s not that bad either, since I don’t give Facebook money to make sure everyone can see my posts. I’m sure most people aren’t feed completionists that read everything sent their way, either.

Looking at posts I’ve made in the last year or so, though, only ten to fifteen percent of my Facebook followers see them.

It’s certainly possible that maybe a number of the people who follow me are dead accounts now, or people who have left Facebook in the last two or so years. I bet that appreciably contributes to how many people see my posts. But I also bet the algorithmic filter’s changed. And I bet that’s why Facebook took view counts out from the analytics page and put them below each individual post with a “pay to boost exposure” button.

Twitter’s playing with algorithmic filtering right now. And with reply lines they’ve already compromised the basic premise of things higher up the feed being new and things lower down the feed being old. I’d hate to see Twitter filtered like Facebook, but like most companies in this current tech bubble, Twitter doesn’t actually turn a profit.

I suppose filtering’s inevitable. That’s how services extort companies into paying for their terrible advertisements.

I doubt things like App.net will ever take off. Normal people will only use whatever social network their friends are on, and I’m sure most people would rather use something free with advertisements than something that costs money but is unfiltered.