This point in Kevin O’Keefe’s article titled “Facebook eliminating the junk in your News Feed” on Facebook “click bait” made an interesting point about using Facebook more to improve its value to you as a user:
All too lawyers and other professionals I speak with complain about all the junk they see on Facebook. Part of the reason is that they don’t use it enough to help Facebook know what they like. At the same, Facebook acknowledges they have a problem with “click bait.”
What interests me about this point is that we often think that sharing more with Facebook equates to even more junk in our News Feed because the more you share on Facebook, the more signals you send to the social network and these signals inform the ads and suggestions you receive (probably the same with Google).
Instead, what O’Keefe seems to be saying is that using Facebook more helps Facebook’s algorithms refine your experience with more relevant ads and suggestions:
Just as Google wants you to receive what you are looking for on a search or a news program wants to get you the most important news, Facebook wants you to receive what you consider the most important information and news.
Perhaps more importantly, it seems that using Facebook more actively also helps Facebook determine what to show you more of in your News Feed. This is helpful given that you don’t actually see everything your Facebook friends share in your general News Feed, only what Facebook’s algorithms think you want to see more of.
From a privacy perspective, this approach suggests that you should share more of your personal information for an improved and more relevant Facebook experience, not less. It isn’t an approach designed to restrict the use of your personal information as a strategy to better protect your privacy but rather intended to use more of your personal information in a way that adds more value to you, as well as Facebook.
It reminds me about Jeff Jarvis’ point a while ago about how brands that know more about you can present a more relevant experience of their services to you. Which would you prefer?