Today Facebook commented on the Nick Bilton article from yesterday. In summary, they are saying that individuals who they promoted at the beginning, simply weren’t creating great content. Here are their words:
When we first launched Follow, the press coverage combined with our marketing efforts drove large adoption. A lot of users started following public figures who had turned on Follow.
- Over time, some of those users engaged less with those figures, and so we started showing fewer stories from those figures to users who didn’t engage as much with their stories.
- The News Feed changes we made in the fall to focus on higher quality stories may have also decreased the distribution for less engaging stories from public figures.
The downside is that those who have produced “less engaging stories” have effectively been permanently penalized. In other words, Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes those individuals who consistently produce “great content”. This explanation highlights how Facebook has effectively become an editorial company which curates our personal stories.
To be honest, they’ve actually done a great job at it. Users log in regularly and part of that may be due to changes in Facebook’s algorithm. In other words: there’s a reason users log in everyday to Facebook. The problem remains the same though: your follower/subscriber count simply isn’t an indicator of anything.