Facebook Admits to News Feed Experiment Meant to Control Emotions

Mind and Heart

Recently, some social media users have been in an uproar after Facebook admitted to carrying out a secret experiment in which the news feeds of more than 600,000 users were filtered to see if those individuals would have differing emotions based upon what they saw on the screen. For example, it was determined if a person was exposed to more positive news from friends, he or she would be less likely to post something negative as a status update. The opposite was also found to be true.

“Massive-Scale Emotional Contagion”

On a smaller scale, most of us are already familiar with this phenomenon. Spending time with a friend who is in an abundantly good mood probably makes you feel similar, even if you were previously feeling a little down in the dumps.

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Putting to Rest the Concept of “Organic” Social Media

Organic

There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile.

Okay, so that’s not really original. Any opportunity to plug in a line from Gladiator, I’ll take it. Despite the overly serious tone of the quote, it plays well with the dream that was social media. The idea of having a set of free venues through which businesses could interact with consumers and the consumers could interact back presented itself as a grand concept to be desired and cherished. Unfortunately, the dream is dead. Success on modern social media requires one of two things: serious fame or cash invested.

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The (Virtual) Reality of Facebook’s Future in Gaming

Oculus VR

In 1995, Nintendo released a video game system called the Virtual Boy, which was touted as a virtual reality gaming platform. In short, you would be able to feel as though you were in the environment of every game. This idea, while interesting on paper, was poor in terms of execution and it seemed like no one took a stab at virtual reality in gaming since then. Yes, there might have been rumblings here and there but no company wanted to make another attempt at it.

That was, however, until the entity known as Oculus VR made its presence felt with the Oculus Rift. For those who do not know, the Oculus Rift is a virtual reality head-mounted device that was created in 2012. Since that time, it’s been in development but the support it garnered has been, in a word, tremendous. With a Kickstarter-funded amount of over $2,400,000 and notable names in gaming like John Carmack coming onboard the project, the Oculus Rift is under a perpetual microscope.

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Recycling Social Media Content is Getting Out of Hand

Tweet from 2013

I get it. I understand the need for more content to serve to an ever-growing flow of content consumers. The art of recycling content is important, particularly on sites like Twitter where a piece of content can and should be used multiple times in order to get the message out to everyone. It’s a chronological feed, after all, and posting it once will only get it seen by an extremely small portion of your audience.

With that said, it’s getting out of hand. I have been finding posts that are months old and no longer relevant hitting my feed from car dealers around the country. There’s a limit. Old news is old news. In the case of the Tweet above, the article posted on Twitter by a Toyota dealer on March 30, 2014, is a link to an article from July 4, 2013. That’s too long for this type of news.

When recycling posts on Twitter, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Is it relevant? Old posts are find if there’s context that makes it work today. For example, posting an article about Tesla’s early days in trying to launch with dealerships would make sense to post considering their current stance.
  • Is it timeless? Some posts, particularly advice posts that give the reader information they can use today, can be posted up until the point that they’re obsolete. An example of this would be a video that demonstrates how to change the batteries in a key fob. Until they change the way you open the key fob, it still makes sense to post for months, even years after the original.
  • Is it nostalgic? There are times when old posts are even better than new ones. A picture of an old Honda ad from the 70s would play well to show how far the company has come over the years.
  • Has it been posted very recently? This is one of my biggest pet peeves. If a post comes through today that is just a different wording on something posted yesterday, than it’s not acceptable. The exception: timely events. If you have a big sale or charity event this weekend, then posting a different variation of the same thing over and over again is acceptable and demonstrates focus on the event.

As more companies use content libraries to keep the feeds flowing, it’s important to keep in mind that the libraries must be refreshed. They must be pruned. In the case of the post above, it’s simply not acceptable. That was news for about a month. There is plenty of content out there in the form of current news about every manufacturer and the local area. Don’t get stuck beating a dead horse with your posts.

The Life of a Tweet

Life of a Tweet

Tweets have rapidly become a mainstay in most forms of entertainment. From sports broadcasts showing athletes’ tweets to news channels like CNN implementing live tweets from viewers, Twitter has been infused into society to the point where even technological illiterates know what it is. The primary form of content on Twitter is tweets — 140 characters at most. But what is the life-span of these concise messages? Let’s travel with a tweet in real-time to find out:

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Localize on Social Media or Else

University of Albany

Don’t worry. This isn’t one of those “feel good” stories about how social media is all about interacting with your local community. That part’s true, but you should know that already, right?

Today, let’s go over a quick explanation of how social media algorithms, especially Facebook’s, work and why you’re actually hurting your local page’s chances of being seen by having too many people outside of your local area liking your page. It isn’t just a matter of them not being interested in your content the way that locals will. It is an algorithm play that can actually prevent locals from seeing your posts.

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Facebook Ads Power Editor gets a Facelift

Power Editor

Those of us in the Facebook advertising world were greeted with an amazing new look and feel to Facebook Power Editor today. This is a pretty neat development for those who are new to the tool because it’s much cleaner and more organized than before.

While the changes were mostly cosmetic, it does allow for real-time monitoring of stats rather than constant downloading. That’s all. No big deal otherwise.

Facebook’s Newest, Most Ingenious Campaign Yet

Facebook Look Back

If you’ve visited Facebook recently, chances are your news feed looks a little strange. Instead of your friends writing statuses, liking instagram photos and posting their most recent candy crush scores, they’re all sharing the same thing: a Facebook movie. Each of these movies is set to a touching and inspiring back-track that chronicles the life of Facebook members through their posts and photos from the beginning. So why is this seemingly simple concept so intriguing and downright ingenious?

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Stop Ripping on @JCPenney’s. #TweetingWithMittens was brilliant.

JC Penney's Mittens

It seems like a lot of bloggers and mainstream media publications are talking about JC Penney’s #TweetingWithMittens stunt on Twitter. Most are saying that it was a misstep. As they complain about it, they fall into the trap perfectly. It’s being talked about by journalists, Twitter users, and even other companies trying to get their own clever Tweets into the mix. The jokes on all of them. This campaign worked beautifully. When you consider that they didn’t spend millions of dollars to advertise during the Super Bowl and are being talked about as if they had, the ROI is very apparent.

The biggest complaint I’ve seen is that it’s not like the Oreo brilliance last Super Bowl. That is irrelevant. Lightning didn’t strike twice and it didn’t have to. People are talking about it. Even while a huge chunk of people were embarrassed for their apparent “drunk Tweeting” escapades, they still talked about it. The only real mistake that JC Penney’s made is that they let the secret out of the bag a bit too soon. Oh well. Nobody’s perfect.

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Are Teens Really Leaving Facebook?

Teens Facebook

It’s easy to say that teens are not quite as interested in Facebook as they were a couple of years back. Between the need to separate themselves from a network where their parents are on, and the advent of newer, trendier networks, it’s clear that their interests lie elsewhere more so. Does this necessary mean that Facebook is out of the eye of a younger demographic for good? According to a recent study, this does not appear to be the case.

On Tuesday, GlobalWebIndex released its social report and it seems as though particular trends have been seen as of late. Instagram, for example, has seen major growth and the same can be h for the mobile side of things as well. One would imagine that, because of these levels of expansion, Facebook would be hindered. However, Facebook – even though altered in some regards – still remains at the top of the social media agency food chain.

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