From The Washington Post
On Monday, I wrote about what the media can learn from the massive traffic generated by the viral hitmakers at Gawker, Buzzfeed, Upworthy, Viral Nova, and so on. That same day, Facebook announced a change to the news feed that will deemphasize memes and prioritize “high quality articles”.
This gets to the downside of writing content designed to go viral on Facebook: You’re at the mercy of Facebook’s engineers.
Twitter is a transparent platform. Tweet something, and it shows up in the streams of your followers, and if they retweet it, it shows up in the streams of their followers, and so forth.
The algorithm powering Facebook’s news feed, by contrast, is a black box. No one outside the company knows exactly how it works. Facebook is constantly testing, tweaking, and reworking to ensure that the content users see is the content that keeps them coming back.