In the early days of social media, we interacted with ourselves on our own pages. If we wanted to check on someone else, we’d have to navigate to their page. It really wasn’t an effective way to keep track of your contacts.
According to a recent Slate feature, the Facebook newsfeed changed everything, right down to how we view privacy, communicate with family and friends, and paved the way for the feed format that has become the social media standard.
Wrote author Farhad Manjoo: “Looking back, it’s clear that news feed is one of the most important, influential innovations in the recent history of the Web. News feed forever altered our relationship to personal data, turning everything we do online into a little message for friends or the world to consume.”
Manjoo goes on to suggest that this innovation is taken for granted because so many people pretend not to like the fact that we interact with our loved ones via a feed. “But the stats prove you probably do. News feed is the basis for Facebook’s popularity, the thing that initially set it apart from every other social network, and the reason hundreds of millions of us go back to the site every day.”
And it’s true. Despite the privacy backlash, we can’t help ourselves. It seems we have a love hate relationship with Facebook and the newsfeed but it’s influence in the world and on the Internet is undeniable, said Manjoo. Whether your find yourself in a filter bubble or in a spiral of envy, ultimately the newsfeed is what we make it.
“The news feed we have is the news feed we deserve,” he wrote.