Have you checked your Facebook News Feed recently? If so, what types of posts are you seeing? Are you seeing a lot of status updates? Probably not. Some photos of your friends? Maybe a few. What you’re probably seeing most is your friends sharing links from other pages or websites. I’m sure we’ve all seen those Tasty videos popping up, and it seems like every new Buzzfeed video makes it to your News Feed somehow. While content sharing seems to be on the rise, personal updates, or “original sharing” has seen a dramatic free-fall.
The Information’s Amir Efrati reports that “original sharing” on Facebook has fallen 21% year over year. This incredible drop can probably be attested to the rise of both Instagram and Snapchat, who have cornered the market on personal sharing. Instagram’s user-friendly interface allows its’ users to easily post high-quality content amongst their followers. Snapchat lets its users post photos and videos that delete after a few seconds, letting them post content for a select group of people without fear of it ever turning up again.
“Original sharing” is the concept that Facebook was founded on (that, and ranking someone based on appearance). But the idea that you can keep in contact with your friends by seeing what’s going on in their daily life was what made Facebook so popular. While Facebook is striving to be more like Google, to be a place where users can search for all of their needs, it’s hard to imagine Facebook not being the place where you keep in touch with all of your friends. If Facebook succeeds in doing the the seemingly impossible task of dethroning Google, then great for them. If not, and Facebook also loses its hold on online sharing, it could destroy Facebook’s entire foundation.