Is your Facebook News Feed polluted with advertising, funny animal videos and all sorts of other attention grabbing digital clickbait?
I analyzed the most recent 100 posts in my Facebook News Feed and here’s what I found:
- 26% Advertising or sponsored links to blogs and other content.
- 24% Pure entertainment (think chicken walking around in pants).
- 20% Posts with a political or other point of view — typically an article shared from somewhere else on the internet.
- 18% General news or company or community group announcements.
- 12% Personal posts from family or friends.
Facebook used to be a place for family and friends to share what was going on in their lives — a great way to keep up without having to make direct contact with everyone. Facebook is now a place we go to entertain each other with funny videos and express our views through content produced by others. Only about one in ten posts is meaningful personal content and even then it is most likely posted by “friends” we’re not that close to and don’t care that much about.
Facebook is an incredibly powerful source of entertainment for almost 2 billion people but it is no longer the best place for us to save and share our personal memories with family and friends.
The results of my little analysis reflect the findings of a more comprehensive study published last year by The Information showed that personal posts declined 21% from 2014 to 2015.
Internally, Facebook employees refer to this drop in original sharing as “context collapse” and they’ve tried a few tactics to encourage more personal posting:
- On This Day tool reminds you of moments you’ve posted to Facebook in the past and encourages you to re-share them with your friends.
- Live Video makes it easy for any user to post live video streams.
Despite Facebook’s efforts, the trend away from users posting personal content has continued, falling a further 15% through mid 2016.
It seems the less personal content people see in their feeds, the less likely they are to share their own pictures, thoughts and memories. At a micro level, that reflects my personal experience and the numbers seem to show that it is an experience shared by many others…
To give you a better idea of how I categorized content in my News Feed, here are some examples:
My analysis is obviously not super-scientific but I think it reflects a global trend so please share what the content breakdown looks like on your Facebook News Feed. What alternatives do you use as a place to collect, share and enjoy your personal memories?
Arkiver is one alternative you may want to check out.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Manifesto published in Feb 2017 acknowledges that Facebook has evolved beyond sharing between family and friends and his new strategy for Facebook is a direct response to the “pollution” we have been seeing in our Facebook News Feeds.