06 March 2013

TechCrunch: “Facebook’s News Feed, A Skittish Gift Horse”

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. Josh Constine

Unfortunately I started noticing this more and more in the iPhone app: whereas some weeks ago there would be one ‘sponsored post’ on the second position in the newsfeed, recently you can get one ‘sponsored post’, ‘suggested app’ or ‘page you might like’-update every 4-5 regular updates. I started hiding and marking them as spam, though I doubt it makes a difference. There was I time when I preferred the mobile newsfeed for it’s cleanness; now desktop is actually a better experience, because I can run AdBlock in the browser and ads are separated from the newsfeed anyway. And the upcoming redesign of the newsfeed will just probably make the problem worse. 

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