It is common that in everyone’s social media accounts, we have followed hundreds of account users, including our friends, families, celebrities we like and some official accounts that we are interested in. Thus, there are actually tons of fresh postings everyday on our social media accounts so that we definitely cannot read all of them.
So far we have been trained and used to a certain order of postings on our social media accounts. At first, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram always put the latest news on the top for users to read. With the development of these social media platforms and the increase of the number of friends for each user, Facebook changed its news feed based on the popularity of posts. Twitter also introduced older, popular tweets to the top of users’ feeds if the users have been away from the service for a time. Last week, Instagram joined the team of changing the order of the feeds as well. The company plans to begin testing an algorithm-based personalized feed for users, which means that Instagram will completely change the reverse chronological order it used since 2010 and start to place the photos and videos it thinks each user will most want to see from the people he/she follows to the top of the user’s feed.
Will you prefer such a new order of feed? Actually, nowadays we are all exposed to various data sets through our social media accounts. How to enable users to efficiently receive the most useful and important news and information is a very tough but essential topic for all the social media companies. Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist and early investor in Twitter, once said that ‘Feeds are a powerful way for users to navigate the web and get to the information they need. My kids are growing up with the news feed as their start page. Not Yahoo’s portal approach and not Google’s search box approach.’
Since the feeds on social media are so important for us, it is a major way for us to know about our friends and the outside world. The social media companies have to create better ways to make the feeds more meaningful and cater to the users’ needs and favor. The revolution of Instagram makes users to see the postings of their friends who have interacted with the users most often at the first time when they open the accounts because Instagram thinks that the users might not want to miss these friends postings since they have interacted with each other so much.
As for me, I think this new algorithm-based personalized feed is very good so that I won’t miss the latest updates of my close friends, however, I want to know other latest world news, some general information, the updates of my favorite stars and fashion bloggers as well. If all the top postings are based on my interactions with other accounts, it may make me miss many postings that I am also eager to know since I won’t interact with my favorite movie stars and other official accounts. I just want to know their updates. I think it is also important for every user to judge what is important for him, not only depending on the algorithm to tell him/her what it thinks is important.
Living in such a big data era, information is everywhere on the social media, how to more efficiently to receive the most important information everyday is a topic that we need to figure out in the social media world.
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