My Facebook “News Feed” User Battle

by on May 22, 2015

in consumer

Facebook LogoAny user of Facebook knows that this free social service loves making its internal updates and making money off our marketable content. Content meaning advertising to you via your profile, your friend’s profiles and aggressively tracking your web site cookies so they can pitch ads to you that are related to what you surf and do.  IE: After I buy something on Amazon, it’s funny how I start seeing ads for that same product over on Facebook.

We also know that FB pushes out updates and changes to their user base, no matter what.

Some user complaints about the free social service include that feed posts from the past get shoved to the front when new comments show up in them, no matter how old it is. Other grumbles include their feeds… ie: Your feed pumps “Top Stories” to the forefront via some mysterious function, the posts of which, seem oddly sorted.  Users can put their feed on “Most Recent” but it goes back to “Top Stories” on the user without warning or notice. This automatic change can occur in the same day or a few weeks later. But it will change.

Your news feed used to be filtered by what was called the Edgerank Algorithm. But Facebook did away with that terminology and is now just calling the process their News Feed algorithm. In it, they declare they are giving you what you want to see. The old Edgerank reference used to use very few variables or filters to change your feed on you. The new “News Feed” uses around a thousand different filters to give you content they deem, that you want.

So I decided to keep track of my own personal news feed with my Facebook account and see how things look. This test uses my three main computers that I used in my day-to-day life.

In the last five months, with three different computers my feed went from “most recent” back to “top stories” 26 times. Each computer tally includes my work computer (seven resets), my HP laptop (eleven resets) and my Chromebook (eight resets).

Or in January (eight resets total), Feb (two resets), March (six resets), April (six resets) and so far, halfway through May (four times.)

I have no facts, but I suspect that the feed and other settings may change from the platform side of things when Facebook makes programming changes in the “wings” of the networking site. I would be agitated if they were changing it to just change it back on their users, but I would not put anything over on them.

Regardless, I find it fascinating how FB makes it’s mods with no regard to the settings that the user leaves within their environment. I get annoyed how often I set the volume on videos and the subsequent video comes back at me at full volume again. Grr.

Or in this subject’s case, users get frustrated with no control over their own feed. But then again, it is a free service and since users don’t pay for it, there is no implied sense of control over this huge marketing platform that has over one billion users and makes almost estimated $8 billion per year (in 2013) from those users, despite not charging them a single penny.

Below is the chart I’ve been keeping on this adventure.

  • 1-1-15 (H laptop)
  • 1-11-15 (H laptop)
  • 1-12-15 (W desktop )
  • 1-16-15 (H laptop)
  • 1-19-15 (Chromebook)
  • 1-20-15 (Chromebook)
  • 1-22-15 (W desktop)
  • 1-24-15 (Chromebook)
  • 2-9-15 (H Laptop)
  • 2-14-15 (H Laptop)
  • 3-3-15 (W Desktop)
  • 3-9-15 (H Laptop)
  • 3-12-15 (H Laptop)
  • 3-23-15 (H Laptop)
  • 3-25-15 (W Desktop)
  • 3-30-25 (Chromebook)
  • 4-4-15 (H Laptop)
  • 4-6-15 (W Desktop)
  • 4-6-15 (W Desktop. NOT A TYPO, twice today.)
  • 4-17-15 (Chromebook)
  • 4-20-15 (H Laptop)
  • 4-28-15 (Chromebook)
  • 5-8-15 (Chromebook)
  • 5-15-15 (Chromebook)
  • 5-16-15 (HP Laptop)
  • 5-19-15 (W Desktop)

So what can you do about it? NOTHING! The only thing you can do is keep your eye on the Facebook Feed Notice, that tells you just below your first blank window, that you are viewing “most recent stories,” like we want! When you go back to “Top Stories,” this notice disappears altogether.

Facebook Feed Notice

At least for now that is where we are being apprised of our status until they figure out a way to hide that somewhere inconvenient, then we’ll have to figure that out too.

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