Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Maybe Facebook Should Abandon the News Feed Altogether (NewCo Shift)

Final paragraphs from a John Battelle Facebook reality check

"So imagine with me what might happen if Facebook were to become a truly neutral platform — an AWS for attention and identity, if you will. What if the company dedicated itself to a set of stable policies that encouraged other companies to tap into its social graph, its vast identity database, its remarkable engagement machinery?* Instead of squeezing everyone through the monolithic orifice of News Feed, what if Facebook changed the narrative completely, and reshaped itself as a service anyone could tap to create new kinds of value? Facebook could set the rules, take its cut, and watch tens of thousands (millions?!) of applications bloom. More than a few of them, I’d wager, would be extraordinary new interpretations of the News Feed —and because they’d compete in the marketplace of ideas, with individual citizens deciding which of them they’ve decided to consume, Facebook would be off the hook as the sole provider of society’s informational nutrition.

Of course this idea is crazy, complex, fraught, and seemingly impossible. But it sure beats the alternative — where one company, and one company alone, is responsible for determining what information the majority of society consumes. No one — Facebook included — seems to want that anymore."
Maybe Facebook Should Abandon the News Feed Altogether.

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