Facebook’s efforts to give users a better understanding of the platform and its contents are not going well, new research suggests.
For example, a majority of U.S. users (53%) say they don’t understand why certain posts are included in their News Feed, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.
Perhaps not surprisingly, older users are particularly likely to say they do not understand how their Feed was constructed.
Per Pew, just 38% of users ages 50+ said they had a good understanding of why certain posts are included, compared with 59% of users ages 18 to 29.
Meanwhile, Facebook also appears to be struggling to give users a sense of control over their social experiences, Pew found.
A mere 14% of Pew's participants agreed with the notion that ordinary users have a lot of control over their News Feeds -- while 28% believe they have no control.
Once again, older users stood out for the wrong reasons. All told, 37% of Facebook users 50+ said users have no control over their Feed, which is about double the share among users ages 18 to 49 (20%).
Also of note, Pew’s analysis determined that users’ sense of control is connected to their efforts to modify their Facebook experience.
A full 50% of folks who agreed that Facebook users have a lot of control over their Feeds had themselves tried to modify the content to which they are exposed.
That share fell to 40% among those who thought users had only a little control over the content in their feeds, then to 24% among those who thought they had no control.
When asked about specific steps they had taken to influence their Feeds, 81% of users who had attempted to do so said they had followed or un-followed groups or organizations.
Slightly fewer (76%) said they had indicated to Facebook they wanted more or less of certain types of content, while 73% said they had friended or un-followed people.