Facebook is mulling a “context collapse” on its platform as the number of people sharing original, and personal posts has suffered a troublesome decline.
Now you may be thinking, “wait a second, my News Feed is filled with statuses about all sorts of random stuff” — but that’s exactly the problem.
According to sources in the know, the social network is worried that its service is turning into a link-sharing website. Although the number of posted status updates remains “strong,” it’s the content that’s causing concern, reports Bloomberg.
Facebook’s close to 1.6 billion users are increasingly posting about news and information derived from other websites. Instead of commenting on a night out, tagging others in personal statuses, or checking into places, there has been a gradual move away from intimate posts.
This void in people’s digital lives has been filled by other social media platforms, such as Snapchat, which offers more immediacy. Consequently, the original sharing of personal Facebook posts has declined 21 percent year-over-year since mid-2015. Insiders at the company refer to this statistic as a “context collapse.” Even CEO Mark Zuckerberg has addressed the issue at staff meetings, according to the unnamed sources.
In order to encourage more personal sharing, Facebook has introduced nostalgia-inducing features, including its “On This Day” tool, which has been relatively successful. The social network also notifies users of special occasions, such as Mother’s Day, and friends’ birthdays.
Facebook is additionally hoping its recently launched Live Video tool can help it combat the decline. The idea being that live video streams will be used to broadcast more personal experiences, no matter how mundane. Whether or not they will be embraced by the site’s wider community remains to be seen. In a statement released this week, Facebook claimed,”The overall level of sharing has remained not only strong, but similar to levels in prior years.” The truth, however, lies in the context.
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