Facebook is testing a way to combine posts that mention the same topic. This has implications for the future of our News Feeds, which are in need of noise-control and a means of making shared items more useful to us.
Three pages that I follow mentioned Obama in recent posts, and Facebook grouped them together similar to how it groups all the posts your friends make on a friend’s wall on their birthday. Though the posts were made several hours apart and none tagged Barack Obama’s Facebook page, Facebook’s algorithm was able to know these stories belonged together and should be associated with the official Obama page. (In case the algorithm was mistaken, the X next to the story allows you to suggest the grouping was inappropriate.)
Think about how this type of post would be able to provide a better sense of what matters and what people are talking about on a given day. Whether it’s ’15 of your friends posted about Japan’ or ‘4 of your friends posted about Crazy, Stupid, Love,’ suddenly those posts have more context and meaning.
Plus, grouping items could become a way to reduce noise. Imagine seeing ‘7 of your friends posted about Casey Anthony,’ and then having the option to ‘Hide all about Casey Anthony.’