Is Facebook Becoming Faceless While Exploring Who It Really Is?

Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 1:00 AM

The expand of sponsored posts has made wading through our timelines daunting, and somewhat cumbersome. Presently posts of interest are buried in the muck of paid ads.

Is Facebook Becoming Faceless While Exploring Who It Really Is?

The recent announcement by Facebook promoting how the platform will open up branded content to publishers has been received with mixed reactions from the online community. The expand of sponsored posts has made wading through our timelines daunting, and somewhat cumbersome. Presently posts of interest are buried in the muck of paid ads.

The Media Landscape Is Shifting

For some time presently the incredibly thinly line between news and advertising on our social media timelines has been skewing. We shielded ourselves below the aegis of Ad Blockers to deflect unwanted content and the assault of unsubtle messages demanding we purchase purchase buy. Well, every action has a reaction. Facebook and advertisers have created alternatives that bring them even closer to our doorsteps. We very well may have unwittingly given birth to sponsored articles, which for some are distant worse than pop-ups.

So-called "branded content" is designed to see and perceive love standard editorial content, but is financed by advertisers. For many, journalism'south flirtations with marketing are the harbinger of selling out, and the biggest casualty seems to be the integrity of writers and their traditional idealism. Facebook Blog Post:

"This upgrade is something that media companies, public figures, influencers, and marketers have been asking for, as branded content is a growing and evolving portion of the media landscape."

Maybe the media landscape is changing, but that doesn't imply that users will wish to stay along for the ride. Clickbait is a pejorative term. People are intolerant to it. Maybe it'south only a matter of time before sites such as BuzzFeed start publishing, "What character are you?" fashion quizzes sponsored by Hollywood studios promoting their latest release. How long until we're bombarded with videos of the latest viral YouTube star drinking Coca-Cola on our timelines that'll do more damage than excellent to brands in the eyes of wary audiences?

Facebook Advertising Is Starting to See Gimmicky

The other problem is that some content gets more traction than other content. And some content is distant more invasive. Facebook has recently courted influential media outlets and celebrities offering them a cash incentive to utilize their Facebook Live product. Playing the game by their rules offers rewards for those publishing live video because the latest news feed algorithm prioritizes live video ensuring it appears close the top of everyone'south feed. Is it any ponder that users are starting to perceive love they're being played?

The attraction for verified users and influencers to legitimately sell sponsored posts to companies on their Facebook channels is glaringly obvious. This is at odds with the pathos that drove users to the site to start with. Users still believe that this social network is a platform meant to alleviate connections with friends, family and colleagues sharing photos, videos and personal messages. There is presently a clear disconnect between Facebook'south users and the chimera it is becoming.

Some may propose that users create security walls to prevent unwanted content from flooding their newsfeeds. The problem there is that Facebook frequently changes security settings and virtually stalemates efforts to erect barriers. Younger users are migrating to alternative platforms such as SnapChat, a visual playground distant far from the prying eyes of their families.

These platforms and others have embedded privacy into their interface, so users are number longer sharing personal information or their stories love they used to. The introduction of features such as "On This Day" that utilize photo-based memories from the same day in previous years taps into the human condition: our fondness for looking into the past through rose tinted glasses shouldn't be underestimated and compels us to hold hitting the share button. Then, that information is gone from public view.

Users Are Tired of Manipulation

The bottom line is Facebook wish us to share more of our lives while also paying their bills by consuming a plethora of sponsored content. These goals are patently clear and antithetical to the reason users flock to Facebook. And, it's the reason youthful and elderly are starting to question the relevance of keeping the ghost of Facebook in their lives.

Users are increasingly self-aware. There are many things they just don't wish to do anymore. They'll not ignorantly fuel the pretense of fabricating an ideal version of their lives or digesting paid ads just because they show up on their newsfeeds. We're all alert the game and the rules. Zuckerberg'south problem is that a growing no of his users simply don't wish to play anymore.

Whether it'south sharing more of our memories or viewing sponsored content by the bucket load, there is a sense that Facebook is showing early signs of losing its way.

About the Author
Anurag Harsh wears many hats. He's an entrepreneur, a public company executive, a digital guru, a blogger, a McGraw-Hill published author, an angel investor, and a classical musician who's performed two sold out solo concerts at Carnegie Hall. Chase him on Twitter.

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