What Would Make Facebook Lose Relevancy in the Fight Against #Google+

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Facebook changed the way its navigation bar operates yesterday, in a capitulation to Google+ and Twitter. it's a sign that Facebook's biggest issue now is relevancy and sorting out signal from noise for its 700 million plus user base.

We saw the Google+ mimicry with the release of the subscribe button and smart lists this week. The scrolling nav bar will keep people updated about their updates and reduce the likelihood they will travel to other sites outside of Facebook.

It should also help people manage the new barrage of information from all the new subscribers as friends, and friends of friends start searching out and connecting to people for new social information.

Barry Schuler, former chairman and CEO of AOL, told me on Twitter today that "Facebook has to deal with Twitter from below and Google+ from above. Their biggest strength, friend-friend, becoming a weakness."

This is exactly right. Some suspect that Facebook will reveal at f8 next week a scrolling news feed, a version of which they rolled out in a test earlier this summer.

The new barrage of increased network information makes relevancy an incredibly important issue for anyone with a Facebook profile, and it has now become Facebook's central issue.

With new subscriptions and subscribers going public, updates will begin to come to these users' feeds at a faster rate. As people have subscribed to my feeds, I have noticed that I am barraged with more and more signals. This has made Facebook management an almost all-day affair.

I feel like I am dealing with the news ticker on the bottom of a cable tv news channel.
This is the problem of news feed relevance, which we have written about before.

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