For Facebook users, experience is everything. The social networking site provides a number of offerings that keep users engaged and their mission is to continue doing so despite the ever changing landscape and fickleness of consumer interest. Currently, Facebook employs a number of ways to engage their users by offering interesting, organic content that often prompts a response. Such responses can include comments, likes and shares. Further, a variety of the content is exclusive and timely which prompts users to want to engage now — to be a part of it all.
User generated content is encouraged and highly effective, but sometimes, it can be counterintuitive. Some content auto-sharing apps like Viddy or Socialcam, for instance, attempt to boost the virality of web-shared videos or amass user “hits”. In theory, this is effective and ideally should promote the content being posted. However, it may often come at a price; that price being uninterested users. When a user watches a video via Socialcam, off of Facebook, the viewing activity of that said user is automatically shared on his/her newsfeed. It shouldn’t be a surprise that sometimes users just want to watch a video privately without announcing to their newsfeed!
Having experienced this firsthand, I can attest that it is definitely a nuisance and I no longer view videos posted via Socialcam or Viddy. As a result, Facebook is finally cracking down on auto-sharing spam with a 10-second rule, whereas content is not auto-shared onto a users newsfeed unless the user views it for a duration of 10 seconds or longer.
Class: Do you agree with Facebook’s crackdown on auto-sharing? What does it mean for apps like Viddy and Socialcam? Will they take a hit on user counts? If so, what can they do to mitigate the risks of user count loss?