Last month, Facebook rolled out a new feature called “trending articles,” ostensibly to help you find stories that became buried within the avalanche of your News Feed. Now they have officially launched “trending videos,” again purporting to make your life easier.
Wanting to check out this latest trend from Zuckerburg & Co, I visited my FB page. What was at one time a passable visual experience is now one gigantic glob of information. With a limited number of apps installed, I’ve got birthday requests, invitations to try at least four other apps (for which I have absolutely no use), comments on posts where I was tagged and new comments to groups I may have joined at one point but don’t check regularly. There are also several other requests for action I have yet to explore. This does not include the sponsored ads for, among others, Costa Rica, new home construction, a casino app and a warning I may have one day before suffering a heart attack (how deep is the FB well spring of data?). Whew, I’m exhausted and have not even looked at the latest entries in my News Feed.
Now let’s see what people have posted (in the last 60 minutes). There’s an R.I.P. for someone’s cell phone (a moment of silence please), a friend’s family picture from 1976, a farewell picture from someone’s old apt who is moving today, a video on the lifecycle of a seed, a photo from a Japanese candy shop, five trending articles, a photo of someone’s cargo shorts plus one of a Batman decal, several blog posts on the personal meaning of the just completed Memorial Day holiday (only one actually memorialized anyone, the other was some self-serving blather), a photo showing the cross between a tribble and a piranha (I kid you not), four trending videos, myriad graduation photos, softball championship photos, the Brooklyn Bridge, antique cars…you get it.
Within that huge melange of assorted bits and bytes (all of them obviously important to the poster and hopefully a few others) are these two important initiatives: trending articles and trending videos. Really? FB assumes I have so much free time that I’ll work my way down a never-ending feed to find content that may or may not truly be important. For the record, only one of the trending articles and none of the trending videos had any relationship to my life. One of nine…is anyone impressed?
As a consumer, I get what people see in Facebook (sort of). As an entrepreneur working hard to build a business based on high-quality, professionally produced video, I’m still challenged to see how these two initiatives will make a difference in their current form. For now, I’ll go back to that old fashioned concept called the Internet and visit a few of my favorite sites.