BuzzFeed: How I Cracked Facebook’s New Algorithm And Tortured My Friends. “Last Saturday — 12 days ago now — I shared a cringeworthy video on Facebook: a 6-minute clip of a twentysomething white woman showing off her small, blandly decorated Brooklyn apartment. Sort of the pumpkin spice latte version of MTV Cribs — innocuous, but annoying. Ever since, this video has been waging a reign of terror over my friends and family, showing up at the top of their feeds every single day, over and over and over. They are complaining to me on Facebook. They are complaining to me in real life. They are tweeting me about it and emailing me. Begging me to remove this cursed video that greets them each time they open Facebook.”
Splitsider: How Facebook Is Killing Comedy. “Last month, in its second round of layoffs in as many years, comedy hub Funny or Die reportedly eliminated its entire editorial team following a trend of comedy websites scaling back, shutting down, or restructuring their business model away from original online content. Hours after CEO Mike Farah delivered the news via an internal memo, Matt Klinman took to Twitter, writing, ‘Mark Zuckerberg just walked into Funny or Die and laid off all my friends.'” This is a good read but FYI there is a bit of swearing.
Business Insider: Small brands and influencers are worried that Instagram is choking off their traffic — just like Facebook did with publishers. “Instagram has helped foster a unique crop of social media-savvy brands and stars, ranging from the cosmetics company Anastasia Beverly Hills to food influencer brunchboys. But some of those Instagram-born creators are starting to lose faith in the platform. Ever since Facebook announced its massive News Feed shake-up last month, many publishers and social-media-dependent brands have been in panic mode, believing that the days of quickly building audiences on the social network organically (i.e. without paying for them) — are numbered.”
Business Insider: A creator with 4.7 million Facebook followers says her reach has been ‘decimated’ on the platform, and she fears Instagram is next. “While on YouTube [Jessica] Nigri has 1.2 million subscribers (far less than Facebook), it has been the more reliable platform. She said she has moved away from Facebook over the last year, as she and other top cosplayers have seen decreased reach, with external links they post not getting the numbers they used to. This echoes the broad changes observed by online publishers, which saw Google overtake Facebook as the largest source of referral traffic last summer. When Facebook put an emphasis on video last year, Nigri said that worked for awhile to boost reach, then began to fall off.”
New York Times: In Some Countries, Facebook’s Fiddling Has Magnified Fake News. “One morning in October, the editors of Página Siete, Bolivia’s third-largest news site, noticed that traffic to their outlet coming from Facebook was plummeting. The publication had recently been hit by cyberattacks, and editors feared it was being targeted by hackers loyal to the government of President Evo Morales. But it wasn’t the government’s fault. It was Facebook’s.”
Nieman Lab: If Facebook stops putting news in front of readers, will readers bother to go looking for it?. “The idea that the value of a piece of news is defined by likes and comments — that taking in information without getting into a back-and-forth with your uncle about it is somehow unworthy — is actually a profoundly ideological statement.”
Phys.org: A look at Facebook’s changes over the years in what you see. “Facebook is once again tweaking what you see to focus more on personal connections and take the spotlight off brands and news articles…. To try to keep you glued to Facebook, it regularly updates the formula that decides what posts you see. With the latest update, the company says it’s focusing on what Facebook is for—connecting with people you know. Here’s a look at some of the ways the company has changed the posts appearing in users’ customized news feeds, which launched in 2006, as well as some of the factors it uses in deciding what makes up those feeds.”