Even the most diehard Facebook afficianado will admit that some days their news feed seems to be a neverending stream of banal posts from friends, making it hard to catch the posts that really matter. “Banal” not because their friends are boring, but many social media apps start out by default posting everything a user does with that app. Multiply that by 5 or 6 apps times all the friends you follow on Facebook, and you have a news stream that is full of noise and very little signal. Facebook, realizing that it already has a fight on its hands to retain its billions of customers, has heard the complaints and is adjusting its news feed platform to de-prioritize auto-posts from third-party apps, which should give posts actually written by the user better visibility. They also start requiring third-party apps that auto-post on a users behalf to ask users if they actually want the app to auto-post, instead of just assuming that they do.
What this means for you:
The explosive growth of Facebook was largely attributed to its astonishing abillity to allow friends to socialize in a way that was previously only possible by being in direct contact with them, or (heaven forbid!) seeing them face to face. However, as social media grew into maturity and other platforms emerged, splintered and gathered their own loyal fans, the amount of social activity has increased exponentially, to point where its become nearly impossible to sort out the information that matters. And what matters in the social context is so highly personalized, there is no simple, algorithmic way to do so. Thus, we see the pendulum begin its return swing, starting with Facebook (the progenitor of “What I had for lunch” posts) turning down the activity spam so that their users can once again sort the wheat from the chaff. It may even get me reading my Facebook news stream again!