Facebook’s out to copy Twitter news feeds

Facebook faced an oops when the site belatedly joined in the Ferguson coverage. Now the site’s looking to compete with microblogging site Twitter.

Facebook's out to copy Twitter news feeds

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Facebook’s out to copy Twitter news feeds

Don’t assume you know which news you want to see on your social media accounts. Or so Facebook and Twitter seemingly say every couple of months.

Once again, there will be another algorithm change for the top social media sites. Twitter was effective in following the Ferguson, Missouri protests. The news trended for several weeks with millions of people connecting, discussing, and providing news on the topic. To the point Palestinians offered advice on how to relieve tear gas effects—which the Missourians greatly appreciated.

And as always, Facebook was running behind—still posting about the Ice Bucket Challenge. That’s not to knock the Ice Bucket Challenge, either. But the Challenge was often ranked higher than Ferguson, even as the national media swarmed the St. Louis suburb, based on nebulous “likes” and recycled news stories from the same sources.

Forbes speculates on Facebook’s untimely predicament and the impact on social media usage.

Twitter was the source for news. And continues to remain the news on the region as peaceful protests still crop up and the Heal St. Louis campaign gains traction. Facebook fell behind “because ice bucket challenge videos received more “likes” than content about the protests in Missouri.”

Anyone that uses Facebook for news will find a serious disconnect from the larger platforms, like Google, because of a constantly changing algorithm. When Forbes spoke to Matt Heindl, senior director of social media marketing for Razorfish, he assumed that Facebook users were not looking for hard news and facts. “People want it to be their happy place.”

Millennials /4/disagree since the generation’s keyed into all social media for news sources—especially as journalists and news outlets focus on quick, hard hitting pieces with several follows up to gain and maintain audiences.

So why is Twitter’s CFO looking to be more Facebook-like? Let’s face it, the two media giants circle each other all the time. One does something, the other copies, and both sites offer “sorrys” after the battles never work out for the consumers.

Earlier this month at the Citi Global Technology Conference, Anthony Noto announced plans incorporate tweets from people that users do not follow but /4/offer relevant information. Such proclamations didn’t really go over well with the users since Ferguson had already demonstrated the ease at finding important news in a timely manner. Noto claims the site will “test and make sure we understand what the implications” will be for users.

“Putting [timely and relevant tweets] in front of the person at that moment in time is a way to organize that content better.” Again, one wonders if those running social media platforms and businesses from the top understands the user base and why people use both sites for spreading messages. 140 characters is a bit short for a long article, and Facebook’s posts are easy to get lost in the content stream.

Inversely, Business Insider says Facebook will be offering a rounder determination factor by concentrating on if a topic is trending “when people are choosing to like, comment on, and share the post.” Easy to assume the constantly changing feeds for no reason will not be changing anytime soon since the company will also be focusing on media and brand consumerism.

News outlets use social media to spread articles and relevant topics, but if the sites keep tinkering, the value will be lost as outlets are forced to move on to another platform. Or Google continues to take over the world.

If Facebook would stop moving timeline posts around to fit their idea of what a user likes and Twitter would realize the sheer amount of capital the site holds for users, then news would already be “the right content at the right time.”


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