UPDATE 6/5/14: The Next Web talks about why your newsfeed is so bad: Facebook Explains.
Let’s get a few things straight about Facebook right off the bat.
- Facebook is now an advertising platform. What once was about people (students at the beginning) has become more about revenue and getting your eyeballs on brand messages and ads.
- The Facebook experience, for users, has been degraded by the ad-first focus of the news feed. Now even people you follow, and say “Everything Please,” Facebook only shows you about 10% of their posts.
- All of the LIKES and Ratings you’ve created in Facebook affect your news feed. (Movies, books, even large categories like “sports” all take news feed priority away from friends.)
- Facebook diminished the value of the FRIEND. Now your friends are more demographic data for Facebook and other advertisers to sift through trying to unlock your marketing DNA.
- Privacy on Facebook is nonexistent. No matter what your settings, if you don’t want it broadcast to the world, don’t ever publish it on Facebook. Period.
Here are a few things you can do to get some of your friend’s back into your feeds.
THE FACEBOOK FACT: The more you LIKE the more you’ll see of that person, brand, or page. So if you like something one of your friend says, LIKE it on Facebook and you’ll be more likely to see their next post. By LIKING rather than LURKING you can get your news feed tuned up and showing more of what you want, and less of what you don’t.
AND BIG TIP: Unfollow everything you don’t really care about. All those LIKED pages and movies and such add up. Get rid of them, re-examine why you liked everything and if you really want to see their posts in your feed. We can make FB more about the people we care about, it just takes a bit of work.
So here’s the normal message on Facebook when you share a post.
Served to 1 person. Woo hoo! And here is what they really want us all to do. PAY.
Don’t you think it’s odd that Facebook now wants you to PAY to get your posts to your Friends? The screen above is from the Brand Page boost option, but the same is available now on your personal posts. Why would you pay $5.99 to get your Update to your friends? Why? Because if you don’t, only a small fraction of your network is going to see your update. If it’s something you’d really like to share, you’re going to have to cough up a fiver. Sorry, that’s Facebook 2014.
There’s not a lot of alternatives to Facebook yet. Google+ is cool, but not cool enough to encourage the massive shift away from FB that needs to happen. And don’t think that Zuck and Co. are working to make things better. If anything, they are working to make it worse. Let me clarify. Better for advertisers, worse for the Friendship network that we’d love Facebook to be.
The best you can do is
- Clean out your LIKES and FANS. All of them you can get rid of, the more space (the fewer options Facebook has) is left for your friend’s updates.
- LIKE your friend’s updates regularly. And HIDE the ones who offend you. This is the effective vote up and vote down on Facebook.
- Use AdBlocking software to eliminate most of the right-side ads.
- Only LIKE pages and people you want to see more of. Do you really need SLATE updates on your Facebook feed? I don’t. Even if I like SLATE and SALON etc.
- Pay for important announcements. I know it seems stupid, but if you just graduated Suma you might want to drop the $5.99 it will cost to get it to your full network. It could mean more graduation presents for you in the long run.
I’d love to see a new competitor for social networking show up and not get bought by Facebook. (Like Instagram.) So we could get our Friend networks back and turn them back into networks about us, and the people we care about.
Facebook should be so much better. We can do a bit. We can ask and complain and keep using Facebook until something better comes along. And just like Windows, nothing lasts forever. Facebook’s dominance will begin eroding, we just need the place to jump.