Dear, Facebook. Your New Algorithm Sucks. Please Fix It ASAP.
Maybe it's just me, but something major changed in my Facebook feed this past week, and it has completely ruined the social network for me.
About a month ago, Mark Zuckerberg and the powers that be at Facebook announced yet another algorithm change. For those of you that don't speak internet nerd, the "algorithm" is the formula Facebook uses to determine what they should populate your news feed with. In early 2015 they changed your news feed to favor friends, and the new algorithm is said to go even further in that direction. The goal being that friends' posts will show up more prominently in your news feed. After this past week, I'd say it's working... and is so effective that it's ruining the user experience.
Perhaps I'm a little biased. I run several brand pages and Facebook has been the most effective tool for driving traffic to our websites. That has become increasingly more difficult with each algorithm change. Now, in addition to my professional beef with Facebook, I have a personal one -- my news feed is garbage.
For the past week or so, I have noticed a drastic change in the things I see on Facebook. I follow a ton of brands, because I engage with current event, entertainment, and music content more than I do people. All of a sudden last week, the top 30 things I scrolled through were completely absent of content from brands (save for one sponsored post from a brand I don't follow) and was showing me friends' posts that were from 2-3 days ago at the top of my feed. That's fine for a minute, but it has continued to dump friends' posts that no one has interacted with recently at the top of my news feed. WTF?
It seems weird that my feed is changing now, because the algorithm allegedly went into effect as they announced it. Maybe it just takes a while to kick in. It did take a few months before I noticed a difference after 2015's algorithm tweak. Something definitely changed in a major way, and it can't just be because I've unfollowed 8-10 people in the past two months over obnoxious political posts and excessive Pokemon Go updates. 8-10 out of hundreds shouldn't make a difference at all.
I'm consistently and exclusively seeing three-day-old posts from the same 10-12 people at the top of my news feed, which is unacceptable. Here's an example -- I was tagged in a friend's status on Friday afternoon. It got a few likes and comments in the first handful of hours, but effectively died off (from an activity standpoint) after 4 hours, as most posts do. That post showed up at the top of my news feed, every single time I opened Facebook for the next 48 hours until I hid it.
I've been growing increasingly more fed up with Facebook. In fact, I have often pondered whether or not I would delete my account if I didn't need it for work. If my news feed is going to behave the way it has this past week -- I have a definite answer to that query, and it's "See ya, Facebook."
Facebook, please get your act together. Your new algorithm is providing a poor user experience and is (at least in my case) decreasing user engagement. I have to keep my account because of work, but not everyone does. You were fun once. You were spontaneous. Now you're like wallpaper... and s---y wallpaper at that.