Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) may have had its genesis in the world of collegiate dating of the 1990s, but, today as the innate part of digital lives, its role is much larger than a ‘social’ network for updating status.
Facebook has grown beyond its dating-focus into a network that has become a part of everyday things one does. Facebook allows individuals to connect at different levels: one-to-one at one level; and at the same time continue a society-level conversation as well.
The success thus far for Facebook has been the algorithms which ensure users have an intimate and personal experience. The algorithms by mining through millions of bytes of data Facebook churn out by way of posts, shares, likes, and updates are analyzed leading to development of Facebook ‘products’ such as the Year in Review and several others.
In the past few weeks the Year in Review has packed loads of surprises as forgotten moments of the year, of which users have posted pics or images, are drawn out and highlighted refreshing happy moments.
However, the fun and surprise element that the Year in Review pulls-up for the unaware user also holds a sober side.
Many pics or stories, posts may be of friends lost, personal losses or tragic incidents or of those who are estranged or incidents which user has chosen to move away from. The year-end reminders of the year’s sad, morose or worst moments are not exactly the way in which one would like to end the year or begin the New Year! And this is where Facebook Inc’s ‘always’ happy algorithms are gaining a lot of flak in the recent times.
Though analysts identify that the average developer at Facebook are aged 31, and therefore do not have metrics to quantify the losses of life such as death, divorce, separation in their algorithms, things will have to change if the social networking site hopes to remain relevant to the end users. All that’s required is a user-choice driven filtering, by gently prodding for affirmation to use names, images and more in products such as the Year in Review.