Facebook Again Tweaks User News Feed

By David Radd

Posted November 16, 2012



Facebook followed up the crowd-pleasing addition of a “Share” button on its mobile site with yet another change, and this one is getting mixed reactions.

The social network announced they will soon be rolling out a “Pages Only” mode for users over the next few weeks. Like most Facebook updates to algorithm or additions, the company often claims changes are safety nets for users who would otherwise be bombarded with spam. 

That’s what Facebook product manager Will Cathcart wrote in an email to Read Write Web, “Facebook constantly tinkers with EdgeRank to make it more effective. The algorithm change in September was a bigger change than usual, but its goal was simply to cut down on spam in people's news feed.”

 It could be why Cathcart immediately shut down an interesting find earlier this week when a programmer uncovered a Facebook URL that appeared to show news feed completely unfiltered and algorithm free. 

A “Pages Only” mode in theory could mean that users would be able to view friends in one feed and pages they’ve liked in a separate feed. The option is set to roll out next week and will appear in a “Pages Feed” option in the left hand corner of the Facebook homepage. While the revamp seems to benefit brands, it could mean the need to spend on ad dollars to get more exposure and reach target audiences.

That potential pitfall for brands has turned one power Facebook user, Dallas Mavericks owner and tech entrepreneur Mark Cuban, into a vocal opponent of the changes.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Will a "Pages Only" mode have a positive or negative effect on brand reach and engagement? Share on our Facebook Poll. 

“In the current system there is complete uncertainty on the cost. And even worse, at least for our size brands, you have to deal with the pricing for each posting, which is a time waster,” said Cuban. “I'm not trying to come off as some Facebook expert. I'm not. I have a bunch of little companies via SharkTank and other investments that use Facebook in the normal course of business. They shouldn't have go to great lengths to figure out the nuances of Facebook audience reach. That complexity, IMHO, will come back to haunt Facebook."





 


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