When trying to learn more about our preferences, understanding why we dislike something is just as important as knowing why we like something. Facebook has no plans to release a ‘dislike’ button anytime soon, probably foreseeing the turmoil and subsequent uproar that a decision such as this could bring. Nevertheless, they do want to know more about why we choose to hide certain posts from our News Feed.
Currently, anyone has the ability to delete an unwanted post, and Facebook will take measures to feed you less content from that person, page, or affiliated party. Although this can be helpful, the social media giant wants to know why you don’t want to see that advertisement, video, status update, or newly minted profile picture.
Ads Fidji, Facebook’s Product Manager, explained, “Over the next few months what you will see from us is more on why people like and don’t like certain things in their feed. We are planning to refine those so users can tell us exactly the reasons they are hiding that piece of content.”
According to ABC News, a similar Facebook feature is presently in use for side-bar advertisements. If the user decides that an ad is not worth their time, Facebook digs a little deeper and asks a single question: is the ad misleading, offensive, repetitive, or simply uninteresting?
So why does Facebook even care about this information? Their entire business model revolves around targeted advertisements, and understanding user preferences can help them to register more ad clicks. In many respects, Facebook is just as much a social media expert as an advertising specialist. In March, the California-based company began to place sponsored ads from the Facebook Exchange program into the News Feeds of its members.
Rebecca Lieb, a digital media and advertising analyst for the Altimeter Group, explained, “Facebook has to please both constituencies. By giving users more choice they are saying you will have more choice and will have a better experience, but it's always important to realize that in return you are giving Facebook more power to adjust that experience.”