One of Facebook’s more persistent annoyances in recent years has been its determination to make you look at the machine-curated top stories news feed view, rather than the reverse-chronological recent stories. Now it seems the social media giant might have realised how irritating that is.
I did a Facebook survey this morning which was entirely focused on the top stories/recent stories distinction. It’s possible Facebook suggested the survey to me because I consistently switch my view in the web client back to recent stories whenever Facebook “helpfully” changes it to top stories. I have to do that at least once a week, and it’s a pain.
Over the course of 18 questions, Facebook tried to work out my attitude to its approach. It asked how I preferred to view my news feed. It probed me about the difference between the two views, and whether I would see more in one or the other. It asked me how important I thought being able to control my news feed was. (Extremely, natch.)
Those questions aren’t a guarantee that Facebook would do what I’d like: respect that I don’t want my view changed from recent stories, preferably by making that a permanent setting. But it does suggest that the company is aware that its current approach of simply ramming Top Stories down everyone’s throats isn’t necessarily the right strategy.