Facebook is losing its users to other social media websites and applications like Instagram, Snapchat and even Twitter. However, Mark Zuckerberg’s recent post about cleaning up user newsfeeds could bring people back. Zuckerberg said Facebook users will see fewer posts from publishers, businesses and celebrities, but more posts from their friends and family.
If you’ve been on Facebook over the last year or more, even for five minutes, you’ve probably noticed that your newsfeed has less statuses or posts from your friends, but more posts from pages you’ve liked or groups you’ve joined. There’s a lot more news, video content and people posting quizzes on which “celebrity is most relatable to them”.
Speaking to people around the age of 18-25, Facebook is a social media that has lost a lot of attention. Most people under 18 have made the decision to not join Facebook, entirely. Part of this is because over the last few years the older generations have migrated onto the site, removing the privacy millennials had from their parents or relatives. Another reason is Facebook just doesn’t have a social aspect to it anymore.
Zuckerberg’s 2018 goal for Facebook may or may not work, but it’s the right idea. From my user perspective, I want to use Facebook to interact with my family and friends and not to see my newsfeed filled with content from publications or other pages I’ve liked. From my perspective of an employee for a publication, I do want your newsfeed filled with content from The Brock Press.
However, at the same time, I think the public needs to be held accountable in finding their own news. We need to go back to actually visiting news sites rather than only choosing to read what is on our Facebook newsfeed or Twitter timeline.
The public has fallen into a trap of only reading what’s advertised to them or what some news outlets deem “click bait”. The public needs to hold itself accountable by finding their news on their own, and becoming aware of the world’s news on their own. Social media sites are only going to give the public one-sided information because publications push for the celebrity gossip to be advertised and not the valued news that matters.
Zuckerberg is setting the correct goals for himself and his company. It probably won’t work, because Facebook is now a site that is known for ‘the place to find news’. I think it’s a little too late for Facebook to get back to what it used to be, but Zuckerberg has the resources to make it work.
2018 could be the year of making social media social again, instead of click bait and newsy.