Millennials Find Facebook Irrelevant -- Time To Build The Service Around People, Not Algorithms?

Some interesting research today tells us what we probably already know, but may sometimes need to be reminded about -- Facebook can be a real pain to use, and nobody is feeling this more right now than Millennials, the target group marketers love to appeal to. 

In short, the YouGov study found that more than half of Millennials surveyed revealed that at least half of the posts in their news feed are irrelevant and a third of those surveyed found this to be irritating. The study passes the common sense, real-world test. All of us find other peoples' endless motivational quotes, pictures of pets and unsolicited views get on our nerves. We probably all have a few "friends" we have added and now wish we hadn't, but can't now "defriend" because it would be embarrassing the next time we meet.

Interestingly, suggested posts don't get a mention as being annoying because surely as we have probably all found, they're just another pane on the page to skip past or engage with. The route for Facebook isn't the problem -- it's us, the users.

It makes you wonder in all the algorithm changes and tinkering Facebook has done, why not give users more control over whom they wish to prioritise on their page. It would be an alarmingly simple idea, wouldn't it? Instead of allowing a piece of code to present a page to you, why not tell Facebook who keeps posting pointless memes about lessons in life we already knew and who our good friends and family members are. In fact, it could even be done by an algorithm, or at least, with the help of the algorithm. The software could be set up to prioritise people we regularly "like" and engage with and cross-reference this against a list we input on who our favourite friends are on the site.

It would at least give people a feeling that they are more in control of their Facebook experience and more empowered to prioritise the people they want to engage with.

Facebook tinkers with its algorithm to make the service as compelling as possible so, here's a question for the site, why not ask us what we want? Why not ask us who are favourite contacts are and, while you're at it, why not start making some educated guesses on our behalf?

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