The fight for the Facebook News Feed – and its memes – is on

fight facebook news feed memes

Facebook recently announced that it plans to change how its News Feed prioritizes news and updates. Basically, “high quality” news stories and new comments on old status updates will get a boost, whereas meme-centric posts (i.e., a Grumpy Cat Imgur-made image) will not.

There, of course, lies a lot of interpretation between “high quality news” and “meme” or “meme-like,” so it’s hard to say how exactly this will look when it hits our feeds. But this is going to be a huge change: According to AllThingsD, after talking to Facebook’s News Feed Manager Lars Backstrom, this is going to be to Facebook what Panda was to Google.

Panda was the code name of an iteration of Google’s search algorithm that had huge, lasting effects on the Web. It was an attempt to punish content farms – sites the scraped stories and just rewrote their own versions of it, or even just straight-up copied them. While Google’s intentions here were good, the effects weren’t necessarily so, and some sites that produced much of their own content were punished. But it’s a matter of opinion, whether you think Panda improved or worsened the Web.

As it will be with this new Facebook News Feed. If you like informative, researched, news-oriented long form, then you’re in luck. If you liked those superfluous Grumpy Cat pictures, you aren’t. Backstrom says point blank: “If you see a funny meme photo in your feed – sure, you get some value from that. But if you compare that to reading 1,000 words on AllThingsD, you would presumably get more value from that experience than the first one.”

Regardless of whether you agree, that sounds an awful lot like Facebook knows what’s best for us and we’re going to get a dose of that – like it or not.

You might find yourself asking “what if I like meme photos more?” or “what if I get the same amount of enjoyment out of both of these types of content?,” and those are legitimate questions to ask. But the answer, unfortunately, is that Facebook surveyed us, and survey says … meme photos are getting buried.

A few sources of this type of content come to mind – Buzzfeed, 9GAG, Viralnova, and Upworthy. Apparently, Facebook won’t necessarily target sources, but what they’re publishing. So while a single photo meme from Buzzfeed won’t get boosted, a long form piece of original reporting will.

Still, the iron hand Facebook’s laying down here means that publishers and users want to at least make their voices heard in the matter – so Upworthy’s own Eli Parisier and a few other interested parties are making an open list of things Facebook should be taking into considering. Some of the ideas that the social network’s machines could read? According to the growing list, Facebook content should be boosted by:

  • Shares by email 
  • Author authority (Google has it’s own author ranking widget) 
  • PageRank
  • Time on page 
  • Comment tone (positive comments, words that suggest quality – i.e. “Must read,” “Great read,” etc.)
  • Bounce rate

The list goes on and on, and has many notable contributors. Anything you’d like to see? Maybe add it to list. Who knows? Facebook should could be listening.

Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.
Social Media

GIF almost anywhere with Giphy’s new keyboard and sticker maker

We all love GIFs, but not every app supports them. Fortunately, the new Giphy' keyboard brings GIFs to any iOS app that supports multimedia. The update also comes with a new tool for creating animated stickers.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.
Social Media

Instagram’s 2018 year in review shines a light on where our hearts are

What did Instagram users share the most in 2018? A lot of heart emojis, heart face filters, and heart GIFs. The platform recently shared the year's top trends, including hashtags like #fortnite and #metoo along with a few surprises.