Is Facebook Fanning Social Media Fires?

14 Aug
August 14, 2012

Target’s social media slamming today (rightly or wrongly) is just the latest in a number of social media fires that has gone viral.

While I know that there are many people who agree with the points of view expressed by people on brand Facebook pages, I know that my feed lately has been populated by my friends liking statuses posted on walls as diverse as 2UE, KFC,  Jetstar and now Target.

Up until about a month ago, I never saw this kind of activity floating through my feed, but now it seems like there is one every day. Which leads me to my question – is Facebook fanning social media fires and making it more challenging for brands?

The algorithm that Facebook uses (Edgerank) to determine what it is that you see in your feed relies on a few different things – recency, affinity and weight.

Recency and weight make sense in the context of these updates, as they amass a lot of likes and comments in a very short period of time.

Affinity?

However, when I consider affinity, it’s a different story.

What I tend to see a lot of is status likes from people who I don’t interact with a lot or at all on Facebook (sorry friends), so factoring affinity just doesn’t seem to work.

So I ask again – what has Facebook changed to surface these kind of posts in my feed and make me take notice?

Is there an end game? Are they looking to shore up promoted post revenue by making brands surface their responses and positive content to the masses?

Is it a deliberate move, unhappy coincidence or something else?

What do you think?

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