According to recent data released by Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, 63 percent of Facebook’s 1.28 billion users log into the site on a regular basis. The proportion of users who log in six days a week has now risen to 50 percent. So, although Facebook has apparently lost a degree of its cool factor, its popularity continues to rise.
The question is, why? Why does Facebook still continue to reel in users in increasing amounts? Well, there is a special magic that Facebook has employed.
Everyone at Facebook knows what you like. In fact, Facebook has spent a good deal of time and energy trying to determine exactly what you like on an ongoing basis just so it can continue to remain relevant for all of its 1.28 billion users. The Facebook News Feed came in 2006, and the Like button came a year later. That’s when the magic started. Unbeknownst to Facebook’s users, the Like button was actually giving Facebook valuable data about what appealed to Facebook users, and it was also a pretty decent way of measuring engagement as well.
Now, the Like button has allowed Facebook programmers and execs to rank items in your News Feed based on the likelihood that you will find them interesting. However, with that realization came a problem; the items that earned Likes on your News Feed were not necessarily legitimate items, but spam. Now, in an effort to get a better handle on its quality control, Facebook is clamping down on the spammy sort of ads and items and focusing its attention on ensuring that each user has relevant items being sent to their News Feeds.
There could be as many as 100 different Facebook versions being used by various users, and that’s because Facebook is constantly in beta-test mode, working to get rid of issues such as Like-baiting and spam. What works for one user does not always work for the other, so with these slightly different Facebook versions, programmers at Facebook are learning what works and what does not. This consistent data collection is a big part of how Facebook is working to stay relevant and, for many users, the work that’s happening behind the scenes is a big reason why Facebook continues to be quite addictive.
In addition, Facebook programmers are taking a look at what happens when you click on an item in your News Feed. If you go offsite to take a look at the item, Facebook stores that data and is able, through a variety of algorithms, to keep that information for the next time you log into the system. It’s only part of the magic that keeps us coming back for more with Facebook, and the Menlo Park-based company is only continuing to prove that it is willing to do what it takes to stay on top of things where your Facebook world is concerned.