Facebook’s New Trending Algorithm a Sign of Bigger Problems


For its more than 1.7 billion users worldwide, Facebook is a major source of news and information. A primary way users get that information is through the trending sidebar on their home page.

Previously, these trending topics were selected by contract editors. These were professional journalists who would determine the accuracy of the stories and write summaries of them.

Facebook has publicly said that it wants to people rather than machines to manage the site. This is part of an effort to get back to its roots. After all, a social network is about people. But in this case that hasn’t happened. Now an algorithm determines what articles pop up in your trending sidebar.

Rage against the MachineFacebook’s New Trending Algorithm

The problem is that the algorithm lacks the discretion of a human. This has resulted in “news” popping up in the trending section that’s little more than a rumor. The algorithm also shows a bias toward news about Justin Bieber over, say, the civil war in Syria. Critics are saying that the new trending feature has “lobotomized” Facebook news.

Instead of providing insight into current events, Facebook now simply tells users how many people are “talking about” a given subject. But does the number of people talking about Elon Musk or Microsoft make any difference? Why should anyone care?

What Does this Mean for Business?

Facebook appears solely focused on telling people about popular topics, leading to a feedback loop in which already popular topics become even more popular. Similarly, Facebook already favors businesses with plenty of resources. These days, if you want your posts to be noticed by potential customers, you better be ready to shell out hard cash to boost your posts.

It’s not enough to set up a Facebook page and hope people will like it. Businesses need to diversify their social media strategy to succeed. Sites like Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all great resources for businesses of every size. Especially for businesses seeking to reach younger customers, it’s essential to have a presence on these sites.

Your business needs to have an organized social media strategy to succeed in today’s climate. The experts at Viral Solutions can help your company develop ways to connect with customers. We’re the professionals in automated relationship marketing. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business grow.

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Filed Under: Social Media