Reader of the Huffington Post are not happy with the news blog’s “Connect With Facebook” feature that allows the site to recommend articles based on your Facebook profile.
It seemed like a cool, practical, rather natural idea: Have those Huffington Post readers who are also Facebook users to connect via the latter so that the Post could pick up on your interests and “likes” and recommend articles accordingly. But readers haven’t received this new feature with open arms.
“I don’t want any such ‘recommendation’ feature to channel me away from stories or presume that my interests don’t shift,” wrote MyFatCat. “This might be good for your advertisers, but it’s bad for my reasons for coming here.”
A few other commenters echoed this reasoning, hinting that Huff Post readers generally consider themselves fairly well educated and read, and don’t really need stories to be “so intensely personalised” and “babyfed,” as Leviathan21 put it. “I think I’m capable of navigating my way around a website and clicking on articles that interest me. I don’t need someone to pick my articles for me,” he added.
Cdub1991 said that the move was “a rather obvious ploy to increase revenue by enhancing their ability to sell targeted marketing to their advertising clients. I wish them well, but I think I’ll pass.”
Given that the Huffington Post encouraged users to voice their feedback about the new feature, it seems like the media team has a lot of thinking to do. Then again, people usually meet changes within their online communities with a lot of resistance, as we see here every time Facebook launches a new layout or adds a new feature.
Have you tried Huffington Post’s recommendations of stories based on your interests on Facebook? How’s that working out for you?