Facebook fires back, Mark Cuban still not convinced
The plot of Facebook vs. Mark Cuban thickens.
If you remember our last post about Mark Cuban expressing negative feelings towards Facebook for their promoted posts feature, it’s obvious that this is a major issue for brands. There has been much debate over the current algorithms that Facebook uses and if they have changed them recently to decrease a page’s reach (so brands would then in turn pay for promoted posts). There is no clear consensus over this issue, but here is what Facebook has to say about it:
Facebook’s news feed product manager, Will Cathcart, told reporters that “The problem we face with the news feed is that people come to Facebook everyday, but people don’t have enough time to check out absolutely everything that’s going on.”
So to determine if any given Page post shows up in the news feed, Facebook looks at four main factors:
- If you interacted with an author’s posts before: If you Like every post by a Page that Facebook shows you, it will show you more from that Page.
- Other people’s reactions to a specific post: If everyone else on Facebook shown a post ignores it or complains, it’s less likely to show you that post.
- Your interaction with posts of the same type in the past: If you always Like photos, there’s a better chance you’ll see a photo posted by a Page.
- If that specific post has received complaints by other users who have seen it, or the Page who posted it has received lots complaints in the past, you’ll be less likely to see that post.
Seems simple and straight-forward right? Well, Mark Cuban still isn’t buying the Facebook Kool-Aid when it comes to a Page’s reach. Cuban took to his blog, blogmaverick.com to express his concerns further and here are a few of the highlights.
Defining engagement by clicks, likes, shares, unlikes and reporting works for Google’s search engine, I don’t believe it works for a social network.
From a brands perspective not having to try to fall within the parameters of the algorithm (Edgerank) allows us to post fun things, tidbits, information, anything knowing that there is at least a chance those who have a connection with us can see it and knowing that we won’t reduce our chances of the algorithm showing our post.
We should know better than an algorithm what those who like us actually like. It may well be that it’s a passive relationship. Maybe they just want to see the scores at the end of every quarter in a Mavs game ? Maybe they want to know what show is playing right now on AXS TV ? No one expects them to like, comment or share any of this. It’s just an information source. And can i just say that its really weird when Mavs end of quarter scores show up out of order. Thats how smart the algorithm is.
Doesn’t FB realize that is far easier for a user to opt-out of a feed by unliking a brand/person/page that has done a poor job of communication than it is to mess with all the account settings or for them to try to tweak their algorithm all the time to try to guess what people want ?
These are only a few points from his very long (but incredibly articulate) post. Cuban is right on this one though. Facebook should not bully brands into having to pay for posts in order for fans to be able to see them. I also agree that Facebook is overcomplicating this issue by creating algorithms and models to try and figure out what the user wants. Just because I click like a few times on some brand’s posts, but not on others doesn’t mean that I like that brand more or want to see more of their content. There is a reason I am following the Page in the first place – because I care about the information that they out out there. I don’t need an algorithm to dictate what I see. I’m all for customization, but how does EdgeRank know what I want to see on any given day? Maybe I’m in the mood just to see in-game updates of the Mavericks game one night, but the next day I could care less about the game and just want to see promotions that they have going on? The promoted posts feature could possibly take away some content, just because Edgerank thinks that it has more “value” or rich content. Yeah, I’m not buying it either.
What are your thoughts on this hot button issue in social media?