Facebook’s Feed Gets An F

I’m not much on Facebook these days. Logged out in April and haven’t looked back. Might delete it at some point… Now, news of the Facebook feed to become more like TikTok tells me there will be less reason, less interest, for me to Numb-Scroll. If dopamine hits and user engagement are the priority, then it makes sense for Facebook to become like TikTok. But I thought Facebook’s point was to simply connect with people I know.

Sure, people can connect with friends and acquaintances over trendy content from influencers and creators, but that wasn’t the reason people signed up in the first place. People just wanted to see what their personal friends or family were doing, you know, sharing the big and small details of their daily lives with others, from random thoughts to grand events. Times change I guess.

Facebook, the “blue app,” is on the decline, so maybe such a pivot is inevitable. Besides, this isn’t the first time the News Feed was altered. At one point, it leaned towards private stuff from people you friended, then it favored info from public sources you followed, then it flip-flopped back. Now the Feed going to allow content from neither those you friend nor those you follow. Instead, you’ll get “random” or outside content because the algorithm thinks you’ll like it best, regardless of source.

Do not want.

If I want cool content from wherever, then I would just use TikTok, right? Or maybe YouTube or Instagram. I’d sooner return to Twitter, actually (good thing I deleted it). If people want TikTok-like content, wouldn’t they just use TikTok? I guess Facebook (Meta) believes its network effect will keep its billions of users from leaving, and amplifying viral-like content will make them more engaged. I still think people should disengage from social media altogether though.

Facebook is still a Zuckerberg production, as is Meta and the so-called coming AR/VR Metaverse. On that, there’s also news about Meta’s pervasive pixel tracking web technology. So Zuckerberg’s products are as invasive and perilous to privacy as ever.

Count me out.

So, overall, I really think Facebook’s pivot to mimic TikTok is bad news for the platform and its users. Such a change seems too fundamental a shift away from what made Facebook what it was to begin with. And people don’t need to be more addicted to a feed of viral content anymore than they need to be in the habit of devouring candy all the time. It’s bad for one’s health.

If you want a true “news feed,” then follow the news sites you like via RSS in a feed reader (Feedly.com). Or just bookmark all your favorite news sites and actually visit them (off Facebook). And if you want to keep up with friends and family, then text or email them, or form a chat group on a dedicated messaging app (that isn’t owned by Mark Zuckerberg). Simple. We don’t need Facebook, no matter what it was or what it becomes. And is it really worth wanting anymore? Nah.

Do you think Facebook’s feed acting like TikTok, showing content from sources not followed, is a good or bad idea? Or is there a more nuanced view? Share your thoughts!


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9 thoughts on “Facebook’s Feed Gets An F

  1. I hardly ever use Facebook and just for this reason. I have joined a few interest groups but whenever I try to look at a feed for just those groups, it keeps tossing content from related groups in there that I don’t want to see. On top of that, I have to jump through all kinds of hoops just to see a group’s feed in chronological order. All this makes Facebook pretty useless for me, which is sad.

    The only reason I still keep an account around is because it’s linked to an old group for my webcomic that still actually gets a few views a week. It used to get a lot more, but for the sake of those still using that to follow updates, I try to remember to update there every week.

    Like

    1. Algorithm controlled feeds are not great. I prefer to see all content only from those I follow and see it reverse-chrono (newest first). Simple. I prefer to control what and how much I see. I discover new things plenty without algorithms feeding me.

      So far I’ve kept Facebook for one particular group that is still somewhat active there, though I haven’t checked it since April.

      Like

  2. I am so over social media. I used to check FB and LI every now and then, but haven’t had any time or interest at all lately.

    The only reason I would ever look into any platform is to promote my work. Pretty much it. So, FB can keep trying to reinvent itself, but I’ll never know.

    Liked by 1 person

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