The Flood of Social Media Posts – Whats Wrong, How To Mitigate It, How To Fix It

What’s Wrong

Since its creation, social media has taken off at an exponential rate.  Each day more and more people are creating accounts and contributing to the feed.  Facebook is the service most readily adopted, mainly because of the people already on it.  In the case of Facebook, lets say that the typical user has 200-300 friends and lets say that just a quarter of those (50 of 200) are enthusiastic posters (2-3 posts/day).  That equates to somewhere north of at least 100 posts per day then add to that the posts from your other friends.  Lets make a guess of an overall total of 200 posts/day on just that one social media outlet.  Facebook’s solution to the inundation of posts is the top posts vs recent posts feature.
Skip to the services that I think are the most susceptible to inundating users with content: Twitter and Pinterest.  As a user of Twitter, it seems that I have trouble following over 40 people.  Once upon a time I followed near 90 people and found that useful posts actually got buried in the noise.  Pinterest on the other hand seems to violate all that is good with respect to UI design; it is way to busy and your eyes don’t follow any particular lines.  Liberal use of pinterest’s follow feature can unintentionally muddy the content you see.

Tips On Dealing With It

I think the only way to fix usage of Twitter is to limit the number of people you follow.  Pick high quality, low post rate users.  This will improve the overall quality of content you get.  For Pinterest, limit the number of users or boards you follow.

How To Fix It

How do you fix being inundated with content?  Facebook is certainly trying to fix it via their “Top Posts” feature.  The top posts feature attempts to make guesses about what you want to see based on your interests, what you’ve looked at in the past, and probably other metrics (and controversial stuff such as a recent study).  Even though I don’t care for their current top posts feature I believe Facebook is on the right track.  It all boils down to the ability to listen to everything but only pay attention to what your interested in, even when you may not 100% know yourself.
I think the ultimate “Top Posts” algorithm would take into account the following:

  • What you’ve looked at in the past. (Given)
  • Users would be given preferred tags based on what they view.
  • It would tag each post and each would receive an initial ranking based on the types of posts the user normally make.
  • The initial ranking score given to a user’s posts is a function of how well their posts have done in the past.
  • Each post’s rank is updated in each of its tags as people view them based on their rank in the tag category.

Up Next: I may decide to make a post discussing a theory of how people leave one service and adopt another.


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