The Lowering of User’s Interest in News Reader Apps Is Due To New “Trending Articles” Box
News reader apps are losing its position among users not because autosharing fell into oblivion. Most probably loss is caused by the transition to “trending articles”, the Facebook’s innovation for displaying recently read articles in the news feed. This speculation is confirmed by The Washington Post stating that the social reader “collapse” is due developing FB modules.
Formerly, Facebook used “recently read articles” box showed at the top of the news feed. But in the middle of April the so popular “recently read articles” box was replaced by “trending articles” box. The revamped box’s version surfaces fewer articles, and it seems that the frequency of the articles appearance also reduced. The originator of the reader apps loss is likely the transition period where there wasn’t any “recently read articles” box showed any more, as well as a leveling out from a worldwide reader app user count spike in the early April.
In very deed, deviations in reader app user count only point that Facebook is keeping a harsh check of what content types and apps get traffic from its news feed. The company is empowered to increase or lower the appearance frequency of anything, starting from photos up to videos. Facebook’s possibilities are forcible. So, it’s totally not right to create a product, or invest in one, relying only on its current popularity on Facebook.
Facebook’s main objective is to find the best possible way to show its users the articles their friends have recently read. The company’s old “recently read articles” box was being used from September 2011 to April 2012, was displayed at the top of the news feed. Although that box was creating a great driving traffic, there was a possibility for users to miss the most sensational articles, as the box didn’t display a blurb or picture for the most articles.
In the new version of reader app box there is only one article showed at one time. And it’s quite unusual to see the box with large thumbnail images, but without friend’s faces. The reader apps loss can be the result this new box generates less clicks per impression, or Facebook simply started to show articles less frequently than it used to do.
It’s also worth noting that in early April there was a wild spike in social reader counts, according to AppData. BuzzFeed and Forbes suppose that reader apps decline is just the leveling off that spike, which can also be bumped because of Facebook’s innovation.
Between April 11th and April 16th there was no “trending articles” box yet. The reader’s interest in recent read articles became to growth from April 17th, when Facebook launched its new version of the box.
The testing of the redesigned “trending articles” box is going on. Facebook’s news reader creators are working on an optimal version of something between the “recently read articles” box and the “trending articles” one. So let’s wait and hope.
Facebook is doing it best to develop the most enjoyable news feed. Its aim is to increase return visit rates and the ad impressions they drive.