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Major Change for Facebook?

In a previous post I talked about Edgerank, the algorithm Facebook uses to determine what shows up in people’s Facebook feeds, and its importance to advertisers. I wondered why more attention wasn’t being paid to it.

Someone was paying attention, because the WSJ is reporting that advertiser complaints are forcing Facebook to make changes to the newsfeed. Supposedly these will make it easier for more content to show up – a boon for advertisers and brands trying to get noticed.

I think this is a serious development, and potentially a really bad sign for Facebook. Remember what happened to MySpace when they plastered ads everywhere? For a long time it seems as if there has been a healthy tension at Facebook between the product folks (led by Zuckerberg) and the sales/monetization folks (the “adults”). Media companies all need this tension, otherwise they risk becoming amazing services that make no money, or cheap, tacky billboards that sacrifice long-term value for short-term revenue. We might be seeing a shift in this power dynamic at Facebook…