Facebook is developing a new type of notification service where users know how old the information is before sharing, which can result in less traffic on older pages.
From now on, Facebook will inform users of the history of the article, regardless of whether it is over 90 days old or not, before they are allowed to share the article.
This notification will help users decide whether or not to share the article. They can choose to go back to where they were before or they can move on to the posting.
Currently, the threshold for this notification is 90 days. Not only does Facebook display items that are roughly 90 days old, but it also keeps you updated when the item is older.
“To make sure people have the context they need to make informed decisions about what to share on Facebook, the notification screen comes up when people hit the button on items that are 90 days old and older clicking to share is still relevant. “
Why is Facebook doing this?
According to John Hegeman, Facebook VP – Feed and Stories, they highlighted that they’ve been keeping an eye on the timeline of an article for several months and have come to the conclusion that the timeline is the key factor in making users decide what they want read it, trust it, and share it with friends and family.
This new notification is the best example of an update that has controversial benefits for users and very adverse effects on publishers.
This new notification can also cause the sharing of older articles on Facebook to decline, which in turn can reduce the publishers’ chance of driving more traffic to their articles.
Nor is it true that an item older than 90 days is out of date. Not all articles older than three months are irrelevant, but if you see an article on a topic like COVID-19, which in this case is more than 90 days old, you may consider it antiquated.
This may be bad news for publishers, but many of the news outlets have also criticized the fact that older stories are shared than breaking news.
Facebook made the same point in its press release
“News publishers in particular have raised concerns about older stories being shared …
Some news publishers have already taken steps to fix this on their own websites by prominently flagging older articles to prevent out-of-date news from being used in misleading ways. “
It’s also true that publishers make sure that the older article isn’t accidentally passed on as the latest news. So the question arises, what is the reason that this problem is still there with Facebook?
The real problem: sharing without clicking
According to the quotes from Facebook in the press release above, it is clear that the publishers are making great efforts to update dates in the articles more prominently so that users are aware of the timeliness of the article.
However, I would like to point out that this notification would have no meaning if it was found that users were proactively checking the publication date of the articles before sharing them.
Unfortunately, it’s pretty normal for users to normally share the content without bothering to look at the link first, which is the main reason for their ignorance of the article’s relevance when it comes to whether it’s one new or old article.
This problem is widespread on all social media platforms, so even Twitter decided to develop a restrictive method in a similar way.
To solve this problem, Twitter is already testing a new feature that will remind users that they haven’t checked the link they want to retweet.
As of now, this Twitter test function is only available to Android users.
The same cannot be said about Facebook’s notification regarding the old article, as they have not officially said whether it will be launched as an option available only to limited groups of users or to everyone.
However, Facebook has confirmed that it will test similar notifications over the next few months.
“For posts with links mentioning COVID-19, we are investigating a similar notification screen that provides information about the source of the link and directs people to the COVID-19 Information Center for relevant health information.
By providing more context, our goal is to make it easier for users to identify content that is current, reliable, and most valuable to them. “
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