Why are people posting less about themselves on Facebook?

Apr 8, 2016 · 2 min read
The author on a recent trip to Hokkaido with his mother. This is Shirogane Waterfall, near the Blue Pond.

On the back of Facebook launching Live Video for all users, an interesting statistic has emerged. According to reports, sharing on the site is still strong, but sharing personal stuff, the bedrock of Facebook, has gone down.

So much so that there is a term for it: Context Collapse.

Why are people posting less about themselves? My two cents:

1. Because there are too any CSI mobs out there. You know, the ones that dig up every scrap of info on you if you ever become a person of interest.

2. Because the kids are now in Snapchat (my Snapchat name is mrbrownlah). And kids know where the real action is.

3. Because there are other places to share with closer friends like (locked) Instagram, Path and iCloud Photo Sharing (I have one album that is seen by only six people).

4. Because you don’t know what algorithm Facebook will introduce next to prioritize your content to their whims.

5. Because stuff shared on Facebook have a tendency to resurface under very disturbing circumstances after years of lying dormant.

I’m also not sure if Live Video will make people wanna share personal stuff again. So far, the live video tools on Facebook are primitive compared to what Snapchat does.

Since I mentioned Snapchat, here is a recent video I shared on Snapchat Stories that never made it to Facebook.

Why didn’t I share it on Facebook? I don’t really know. My Snapchat followers had a blast watching it in the 24 hours it was up there though.

Maybe there is something fun about sharing something ephemeral like this (I know, I have just made more permanent sharing it on YouTube). It is shared, and then it is gone. If you came by my Snapchat a day later, you wouldn’t experience that semi-live moment. I don’t know if anyone liked it a lot or hated it, as there isn’t any hardcore commenting tool available, and strangely, that is great too.

And before you get your panties in a twist, yes, it is a vertical video. Hey, it is Snapchat, vertical videos ARE the default view in that space. Get over it.

Facebook wants our content, it wants our undivided attention But as it gets bigger and bigger, with more and more of your friends, family and semi-friends on it, and corporate media companies on the same bed, I am not sure it is the intimate kampong it once was.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade