Facebook is always screwing around with their news feed algorithms, or what they call "trying to show you better, more relevant content." It's not like Facebook isn't constantly tweaking this, but they've been doing it a lot lately - or at least being a lot more forthcoming about the process.
Did you know that Facebook users are a bunch of sheep? Probably. But seriously, there's a giant snowball effect when it comes to posting statuses. Apparently, according to Facebook's internal testing, you're much more likely to post a status if you see a bunch of statuses from your friends. Check this little excerpt from a recent Facebook blog post:
The goal of every update to News Feed is to show people the most interesting stories at the top of their feed and display them in the best way possible. We regularly run tests to work out how to make the experience better. Through testing, we have found that when people see more text status updates on Facebook they write more status updates themselves. In fact, in our initial test when we showed more status updates from friends it led to on average 9 million more status updates written each day. Because of this, we showed people more text status updates in their News Feed.
That's rather interesting. I wonder if the same is true for photos, links, etc.
The context for this comes in another Facebook algorithm change announced in aforementioned blog post. Facebook is going to start showing users less text status updates from pages, instead opting for the "link share" style posts. That's because they didn't see the same kind of "status snowball" effect when those status came from pages - just when they came from friends.
This comes on the heels of Facebook's recent enormous algorithm change, one that's been likened to Google's giant Panda update.
Image via Jennifer Conley, Flickr Creative Commons