Just when we thought Facebook had reached their quota of quarterly feature additions, the social network have begun testing a new addition to news feed reminiscent of Twitter’s controversial new algorithmic timeline. The social networking giant have begun testing “what friends are talking about” in an attempt to encourage users to engage with friends’ content and develop discussions away from brand content.
A new feature has started to show up on a selection of user’s Facebook news feeds. Although not currently fully rolled out (so don’t be surprised if you haven’t caught a glimpse of it just yet) “what friends are talking about” was first spotted on Facebook’s app for Android and highlighted in an article by Mashable, stating that;
“Earlier this summer, Facebook said it would prioritize posts from family and friends over content from brands: It’s unclear if this new module is related, though it does seem like a good way to encourage people to interact with one another.”
Much like the algorithm now present on Twitter which prioritises tweets by those a user most engages with, Facebook’s new feature curates a selection of recent posts from friends and places and places them at the top of the news feed. This highlights these discussions and encourages immediate action by users by allowing them a quick glimpse of the rate of engagement that each piece of content has received.
The new feature is likely an attempt to solidify the network’s position as a more intimate and ultimately social platform, an accolade that has started to drift over to Instagram in recent months, with Facebook viewed more as the number-one spot for brands marketing to consumers.
As yet it is unclear to what extent the new feature will be rolled out to users, however it is certainly a worthy attempt at facilitating more discussions between friends and family and empowering these messages over that of brands.
What are your thoughts? Tweet us – @GiraffeSM.