The changes to Facebook announced at the F8 conference have conflicting implications.
In some ways, Facebook is granting users more control over their online presentations: the sleek new Timeline allows you to spotlight significant actions on your profile and bury others you don’t want people to see.
But in other ways, Facebook is taking away users’ choice in what they share with the world. A slew of new social apps will now automatically post any and all of your activity on Facebook. With this change, Slate argues that “Facebook is killing taste.” Whereas before you had to actively “like” something to share it to Facebook, now every article you read, every song you listen to, every movie you watch will be streamed through Facebook, regardless of whether you liked it, hated it, or felt absolutely neutral about it.
As Mark Zuckerberg introduced this new feature, he said, “people have things that they want to share, but they don’t want to annoy their friends by putting boring stuff in their newsfeeds.” And so Facebook created a space specifically for annoying, boring updates, including a running log of everything everyone does on the internet: the Ticker.
So what does this mean for publishers? Well, your press or magazine’s updates are likely to end up in your followers’ Tickers. Anytime someone likes your page, it’s likely to end up in their friends’ Tickers. As if it weren’t enough of a challenge to be heard already, your page is now even more likely to get lost in the Facebook noise.
The only way out of the Ticker is through content that Facebook’s filters identify as “important.” So the more user interaction your updates get, the more likely they are to make it onto the newsfeed—meaning it’s now more important than ever to be authentic, significant, and engaging in your social networking presence.