#ThrowbackThursday A look at what Facebook used to be

Facebook announced that it’s once again updating its algorithm to take into account the use of ‘reactions’.

It’s been a little over a year since Facebook updated its “Like” button to allow its users to react to a post. Now Facebookers can “haha”, “love”, “anger” and more at the posts that appear on their newsfeed.

This latest algorithm update will favor posts that have been reacted too, over those that have been liked. So, you may want to careful about how to react to certain posts, as even “anger” will be ranked higher.

“Over the past year we’ve found that if people leave a reaction on a post, it is an even stronger signal that they’d want to see that type of post than if they left a like on the post,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “So we are updating News Feed to weigh reactions a little more than likes when taking into account how relevant the story is to each person.”

With the news of this pending update breaking this week, coupled with the fact that it’s my birthday tomorrow, I started to feel a little nostalgic about what Facebook used to be – when a simple “like” was all that was required.

Facebook was originally invented as a social platform for university/ college students to communicate across campus and find out if someone they liked is in a relationship. I actually registered for Facebook back in 2007, one year before I left home for University. I saw it as a fantastic way to keep in touch with my school friends, and also a way to meet fellow University of Birmingham freshers before we all descended on the city in September.

My first Facebook profile picture vs. my current.

Since 2004, and its initial launch, the Facebook platform has grown exponentially. By the end of 2014, it had over 1 billion users.

Facebook’s rise to success is almost counterintuitive. Initially, the platform answered a specific niche need. Now, it is no longer concerned with this niche market. Instead as a global behemoth, it now caters to a unmeasurable market. What this shows is that if you have a product that works, you can go against the market practice, and take the reach a lot further.

It is now an extremely powerful marketing tool. Marketer’s everywhere are trying to take advantage of the fact that over a billion people are active users. Facebook’s advertising tool also, by far, outstrips the functionality of other social platforms. You can target effectively by any criteria that people add to their profiles. Not only job title, company, location, but also interest, groups, pages likes and more.

As a marketer, it is a platform you can’t ignore!



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