Posted August 4, 2011 2:43 pm by with 3 comments

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For marketers, the news is too good to be true. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook is thinking about removing the filters on user news feeds. So, instead of Facebook deciding what information a user sees, the user will decide. How radical is that?

This change would mean an open line of communication between a brand or business and every person who “liked” their page. You post a message and everyone who follows your fan page sees it in real time in their news feed.

I hear you saying, isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? Supposed to, but that’s not how it does work.

Currently, Facebook’s algorithms sort through all the data that flows through a page and delivers it in a way it thinks is best for you. The assumption is that posts from people you communicate with most often belong at the top of your list. But what if your mother only posts once a month? Should she be less important than a passing acquaintance who likes to challenge you with trivia every day? I think not.

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In addition, Facebook is also looking into expanding the “like” button to allow for a wider variety of choices. The article isn’t very specific on this, but it sounds like a developer could make a “Wish List” button or a “Love” button. Imagine the possibilities!

What’s truly amazing about these ideas is that it would mean Facebook is loosening their hold on content. Kind of like the parent handing the teen the keys to the car for the first time. It’s scary and you gotta trust, but in the long run it’s something Facebook simply has to do if they want to keep growing and evolving.

  • Interesting. Facebook seems to be trying to increase content sharing and allow for more information to be communicated. At first facebook was used for people to communicate and now has developed in a way for people to contact websites, hear about deals, and even get others opinions on different things. As more and more businesses and people join facebook and more and more information is transferred eventually everyone we’ll be able to see everything anyone is doing as to communicate with everyone instead of just you select friends.

    • Ya, ofcourse @ John! Now the interaction will be more with many other, new people and not only restricted to friends itself!

  • Thanks for this post Cynthia–I don’t think we write enough about Facebook’s filters, and that is perhaps part of their problem. I am all for some degree of automated curation, but I think Facebook has historically been a little frustrating on this point, as your Mother example points out. Mostly because it has been so confusing exactly what is getting filtered and why. So this opening, and a little more articulation with the like button feature, are both good news to me. Need I mention G+ as providing competitive catalyst to these kinds of developments?