Stop Controlling My Newsfeed


I have a very love hate relationship with Facebook. I love the social interaction and being able to share the parts of my life I chose to share with my friends and family. I also love being connected to those that don’t live near. What I hate about Facebook is that it chooses what I see based off the algorithms it’s created.

According to Kurt Wagner’s article Facebook: Here’s How Your News Feed Works, the average person’s newsfeed has 1,500 possible stories per day but only 20% of those stories will make it into that person’s newsfeed. Facebook created an algorithm called EdgeRank to determine what it will allow you to see. It assumes you will find certain things interesting based off your past engagement with friends and brands.

What bothers me is I’ve chosen to be friends with someone or like a company but because the post doesn’t have a high EdgeRank, I might not see it. A great example is I’m an administrator for the LPGA’s Facebook page but for more than a year I didn’t see any of the posts. Just because I didn’t interact with the content doesn’t mean I don’t want to see it. It angers me that Facebook gets to decide what I see and don’t see. There are probably plenty of people out there that enjoy not seeing everything but I’m the type of person where I want to see all the posts but Facebook doesn’t allow all of the posts through to me.

EdgeRank boils down to how close you are to someone and the amount of interaction you’ve had with them. It puts a value on a post has based on comments and likes and how long it has been since the post was created. The article The Importance of Engagement in Facebook Marketing – EdgeRank explains it in much more detail. What brands need to learn from EdgeRank is to put more time and effort into posts to make sure the post will be engaging. Only 16% of followers will see a brand’s post on average because of EdgeRank. The more engaging the post, the higher the likelihood that more people will see it. Some great tips were given to help improve engagement. It boils down to short posts that include visuals, a call to action and posting during the right time for your followers.

When it comes to Google+, Facebook’s competitor, I don’t know much. I’ve used it less than a handful of times. I’m ready to understand more about it and how marketers can successfully utilize the platform. Unfortunately, this week’s readings left me still wondering what Google+ is all about.

What I did gather from the article Why Google+ is an Inevitable Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy is that posts on Google+ have an effect on Search Engine Optimization. Working on a website, I know how important SEO is to a brand. It’s free traffic back to your website. Google+ is a content sharing platform that is significantly integrated into all of Google’s products. Posts you make to Google+ can have a very positive impact on your SEO. Brian Clark said in the article above that not contributing to Google+ could make you lose traffic to your website.

Apparently Google+ made some changes and Kim Garst details them in the article How to Use the New Google Plus Changes to Build Your Brand More Effectively. Not having used Google+ before doesn’t allow me to say whether they were good or bad changes. What I do know is that you aren’t forced to accept the new three column layout. Google+ allows you to revert back to the old version. Photos and videos have been made larger and a really cool photo enhancement feature has been added. While I say hello to Google+, I can say goodbye to blemishes.

Do you like the fact that Facebook chooses what you see or don’t see in your newsfeed?

How often do you use Google+ and what benefit do you get from it?


11 thoughts on “Stop Controlling My Newsfeed

  1. I won’t lie: I hate that Facebook controls what I see. At the same time, I understand why they have a system that controls what you do see. FB is in the business of data, and their algorithms mine some incredible information. That said, the big deception of FB is that you don’t really control what you see or who sees what you post.

    This, in essence, is the advantage of Google+ (for now at least). I do use G+, but it’s all for SEO right now as the user base needs to become more interactive.

  2. Thanks Adam. That’s a great way to show the difference between Google+ and Facebook. I wonder how many people realize the amount of information Facebook keeps from them. I get frustrated every time I log on to Facebook. I see one thing on my mobile phone and another thing on the computer. Then if I refresh or visit again it’s all different. The readings about the algorithm really did help explain how it all works and it makes sense. I just don’t like it.

  3. It is frustrating that you don’t see everything that’s posted on Facebook, but the algorithm does make the content on your feed more manageable. I always can make it through my Facebook news feed, as opposed to Twitter where I skip over a lot of content just to stay up-to-date. I like to think that if the Facebook content is important to me, it will show up on my news feed! This may be wishful thinking!

  4. I’m not a big fan of Facebook controlling my Twitter especially when I get random posts from brands I’ve looked at once or twice but have not followed or liked. It was my choice not to engage in that way, and I probably made that decision because I don’t want the additional clutter on my feed.

    I don’t use Google+ as much as I should because I don’t have the app on my phone. I keep meaning to download it, but for some reason I just forget. However, because of the SEO implications it’s something I should probably make time for.

  5. Stacy,

    Facebook does control much of what you see in your newsfeed, however, it’s easily manipulated. For instance, there are some brands that I like on Facebook, and I can choose to add them to my Interest Lists so that their posts are more prominent in my newsfeed. Similarly, I post status updates with pictures or video mid day during the week, and between 10am and 6pm on Saturdays to maximize likes and comments.

  6. I love that FB selets what I see.. are you kidding me. It’s great. I don’t even know why I’m still friends with some of the people I’m friends with. When the newsfeed first came out and the Algorithm hadn’t been put in place it was awful! Now, my newsfeed has updates I actually care about. It still has some I don’t, but that’s neither here nor there.

    I’m still learning about google+ too, but I see the benefits in it already.

  7. Pingback: What's New In Social Media? - HeyGoTo Marketing & Social Media : HeyGoTo Marketing & Social Media

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