Facebook cares about one thing: how much time their users spend on the site. This is the driving metric that Facebook uses. Any feature that sustains or increases the amount of time their users spend on Facebook is a successful feature for them. Controversy aside, Facebook doesn’t really care if they feed people fake news or articles that fit within the readers bias. If this sustains or increases the user’s time on Facebook, it’s all good.
More time on Facebook means that they can target more ads and charge higher prices for those ads.
Unfortunately attention is the driving force for social media designers. A successful social media designer’s objective is to create an application that is as addictive as possible.
Again, for ads. Users, historically, have been unwilling to pay for social media applications. For the application to survive in the long run, they have to have a successful revenue model, which means ads or something like ads.
As the designer of nderground, I’m not wild about ads. I want to experiment with alternatives, but history suggests that ads or something like ads (sponsored articles of the type we are starting to see on Medium) are inevitable. For right now, nderground is free and free of ads. But this is not sustainable in the long run.