Facebook doesn’t have to be terrible
GE: So that is, we are talking. So another argument made by Frances, which raised a lot of eyebrows, is that a platform like Facebook should just go back to reverse chronological ranking, because the engagement-based ranking algorithm is the root of all. ailments. And a lot of people are like, it’s crazy. It would just, oh, make social media unusable.
LG: This is what we have used for years.
GE: Law. Twitter was chronologically reversed until 2015, and you can still set it to be chronologically reversed. Although I find this, I think every time I log out it makes me back down.
MC: Yes. Yes.
GE: I’m on reverse timeline now, and that’s absolutely fine. It’s better because I don’t want everything to be, it’s like, I don’t want every bite of food to be a Dorito that’s just designed to overwhelm my senses. I don’t want every tweet to be like the tweet I need to watch.
GE: The idea of Facebook is that you connect with people that you actually know. What’s so crazy about seeing it in order? Now people say, oh, but then you’ll just see this person who uses Facebook way too much and it’ll be boring. So one thing Frances said was, yeah, you can build anti-spam stuff. If someone posts too many posts, they might condense that and say, Mike Calore posted nine times, click to see. So there are ways around that.
MC: On which no one should ever click.
GE: No, no, don’t click on it. Do not click, certainly if you are under 18. So I’m not sitting here arguing for it, but I don’t think it’s as crazy as it sounds. The thing to keep in mind is that this wouldn’t be a solution to all social media. If you take a broader view of recommendation systems, could YouTube reverse the timeline? Could Spotify podcast recommendations be reversed?
LG: And Netflix.
GE: Can Netflix? No. It is therefore important to keep in mind that this will not be one size fits all for all recommender systems.
LG: Or imagine Amazon, if it felt like you log into Amazon and the thing recommended to you as a product is the, I don’t know, the really weird hunk of junk that someone just took list as opposed to the thing you actually need.
GE: Yeah, which of the billions of products. Yes.
LG: Yes. OK.
GE: It would be fun. Just buy the most recent things. There is an article on stunts of sorts.
LG: Thanks for this idea.
GE: So get someone to build a reverse chronological Amazon, then I buy everything.
LG: Yeah, and I think I know a designer who can help me with that.
GE: What do I have after six months?
MC: Amazon fire hose.
GE: “Help, I’m starving.”
LG: “Help. I have no toilet paper.”
LG: OK. Let’s take a break. And then we’ll come back with our recommendations.
LG: Gilad, I’m almost afraid to ask you what your recommendation is this week. This is why we have led you, by the way, not to talk about Facebook, just for your recommendation.
GE: And that’s why I accepted.
MC: And also to talk about Facebook.
GE: Yes. Yes. Yes. So my recommendation, and this is something Mike and I have talked about before, but finally performed, is to listen to CDs.