We’ve received a few questions about a recent Quartz article titled, “How to rid your Facebook feed of all those terrible viral news stories”. The premise of the article is that there is too much undifferentiated content showing up in your Facebook News Feed, and that there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of content that you see.
While we disagree with the author (Kabir Chibber) on some points, we do think he highlights an important problem: there is too much content in the world competing for too little attention. We are all exposed to far more content than we can hope to consume.
That “too much content” problem is where SocialFlow comes in. Rather than blasting all of their content into your news feed whenever stories happen to be ready, our clients rely on SocialFlow’s technology to help them determine which content is most relevant to the audience that follows them. The idea is to post the right message at the right time, rather than simply publishing all the messages, all the time.
Given our commitment to a user experience of the highest integrity, we were surprised to see that one of the steps the author suggested was to hide all content published via SocialFlow. “Pulling the plug” in that way may make your News Feed emptier, it’s doubtful that it will make it better. If less were always better, we’d all end up with News Feeds that look like this:
Media companies achieve better results, and have more engaged readers and viewers when they use SocialFlow. Our platform analyzes data in real time and applies predictive intelligence to enable better posting decisions. We have written two separate white papers on the subject, which investigate both the problem and the solution: see the August 2014 document here, and the follow-up June 2015 document here.
If you don’t have the time to read the white papers, here’s a simpler measure of how users feel about SocialFlow: Facebook’s “Negative Engagement with Stories” metric. SocialFlow’s measure is the dark blue line on this graph:
SocialFlow averages around 0.014 user spam reports per 10,000 impressions, which is about half of the spam reports for other applications in the Facebook ecosystem. A “one-in-a-million” rate of user-reported negative feedback hardly seems to be a large problem.
SocialFlow will always look for new ways to make the user experience more satisfying. We know when users get what they want from the quality content creators they choose to follow, everyone wins.