Twitter is the social network that is always held up as being the first for breaking news. Facebook have noticed and they want to muscle in, rather than finding their own niche. So what’s their plan? They want to make the move toward becoming a news site, rather than one that deals with social engagement by giving priority to things with ‘more relevance’.
“We’ve noticed that people enjoy seeing articles on Facebook, and so we’re now paying closer attention to what makes for high-quality content and how often articles are clicked on from News Feed on mobile,” Varun Kacholia, Engineering Manager, and Minwen Ji, Software Engineer, said. “What this means is that you may start to notice links to articles a little more often.”
This means FB will be adding features that will enable you to read content you’re interested in, rather than the usual silage your old school chums come up with while they slowly reveal how right wing they are.
If you see an article, the new Facebook will add three more related pieces on the same subject or from the same publication. This will be bad news for memes and pictures of cats, which will be shunted backward, away from the main window of action.
“Starting soon, we’ll be doing a better job of distinguishing between a high quality article on a website versus a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook when people click on those stories on mobile,” said Kacholia and Ji, adding: ”While trying to show more articles people want to read, we also don’t want people to miss the conversations among their friends. So we’re updating bumping to highlight stories with new comments.”
And why is this happening? Money, of course. Referral traffic is a lucrative business if you get it right so you can expect even more newspapers to ask you to login with Facebook if you want to leave a comment. Facebook want you to save articles to read later, like the Flipboard app.
Is this enough to get people interested in Facebook again?