Greg Morris

Designer, Pretend Photographer, Dad

Users Like Algorithmic Feeds

Charles Chen discussing he’s outlook that Mastodon is Rewinding the Clock on Social Media:

On the consume side, that means that your home feed has no Algorithm (big-A “Algorithm”). This can be disorienting at first when coming from X and FB. Practically, it means that you see only what you want to see and only see it linearly. You never wonder, “why am I seeing this and how do I make it go away?”.

I am completely convinced that users both want algorithmic timelines, but they need one. There is some research to back this up from Meta, but others found the opposite, so take from that what you will. However, in my opinion, it is only tech nerds that shout the loudest because we feel as if we need to complete our timeline as if it is a video game. When, in fact, users want to follow loads of people but only be shown the good stuff from their circles.

The biggest reason users complain is when companies don’t get it right, and not many companies have managed that. No one wants a chronological feed on TikTok or Netflix, and that’s because the algorithm is complete seamless. Using your consumption data to get the right things in your face at the right time.

Granted, you could argue this is because they are not ad networks and are not bothered about showing you them. They do, however, need to keep you engaged, and watching things. So they ensure their suggestions are as good as they possibly can be. We’ve all had the odd bad experience on these platforms, but there’s no scrambling for a long list of the latest things launched.

Could you imagine if both of these platforms got it as wrong as Twitter does?

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