According to Zuckerberg’s Law Of Sharing, we post twice as much each year, but we’re not doubling how long we spend reading our social streams. On Twitter’s unfiltered feed, that means we read tweets from a shorter period each time we browse. The last 100 tweets may now come from the last hour, when perhaps it took those we follow two hours to conjure up as many quips and cat memes a year ago.
On Facebook’s filtered feed, though, push comes to shove, as Hunter Walk mentions in his response to Bilton. Facebook shows a digest of the most “relevant” posts from the last few hours or since we last logged in. As we share more, the bar climbs, and only the posts with the most likes and comments and those from our closest friends show up.
Facebook also sidesteps its news feed sorting algorithm, unofficially known as EdgeRank, to inject certain pieces of content. For example, ads. Whether they’re posts by Pages we Like that could have appeared but probably wouldn’t make the cut, or non-social ads that are completely artificial, Facebook makes money by sticking them high in the news feed. The volume of advertising in the feed has increased dramatically this year, which Bilton says means “free posts will disappear from people’s feeds as sponsored ads float to the top.”
I wonder whether or not Facebook will reach a point where their push for monetization annoys users enough to make them leave the site en masse. As a college student, I can’t think of a site or app that could replace it for organizing events or communicating with groups.