Not even the major social networks are forgiven when it comes to the occasional bug, and this time it’s Facebook that’s trying to squash it. According to a recent discovery, the platform’s mobile website allows users to accidentally see view counts for posts uploaded on Facebook.
Just like the view counter that displays how many times a video has been viewed, the bug allows you to see the number of views on any article or video link, such as those posted by official organization pages and news media.
Of course that such a discovery does nothing but make you realize that nothing you could ever post will ever be as popular – even in your close friend group – as that BuzzFeed article on how to make ramen fries or maybe that Vine compilation video.
Discovered and reported today by some users, the bug is said to affect only Facebook’s mobile website, leaving the desktop version and the company’s official mobile apps as they were. Facebook confirmed the phenomenon is a bug indeed and that it’s working on removing the view counts from user posts.
With view counts displayed seemingly random only under some photos and shared links, users wonder if the metrics are entirely accurate. For example, a Doritos article shared by a North Carolina Fox affiliate boasts a view count of 4 million people.
Nothing too strange here, but see this: Facebook’s official page – which has recently passed the milestone of 165 million likes – has only around 75,000 views on a status promoting global internet access. In spite of how accurate this presents the society’s relative interest in these two matters, the compared view counts are nothing short of dubious.
The Silicon Valley company has no intention of allowing view counts to be visible for individual users, and they’re right to do so. Part of Facebook’s appeal is the mutual acceptance that each of us is feeding important content into a vast black box, controlled by a series of algorithms that work in mysterious and complicated ways.
In reality, a 2013 study conducted by Michael S. Bernstein, an assistant professor at Stanford University, in collaboration with Facebook’s data science team revealed that your recent profile picture update has the chance of reaching about 35 percent of your friends.
Investing in growing the number of likes on their pages is one of the ways news organizations thought would increase reachability, but it’s not always the case. But Facebook is keen on being the only one to hold the keys to the enigmatic News Feed, and it wants it to remains this way.
Image Source: IBT