Welcome to another of one of our Famous Bugs Series, we hope you get a serious laugh out of some buggy pains to those that came before us!
Did you ever wonder how many people really see your posts on Facebook? Well, thanks to one of facebook’s mobile app bugs last year, you could do just that. The bug let you see the exact number of view counts on any photo, article or video link posted on its site which is similar to the way Facebook currently displays the number of views under videos. The bottom line is that nothing you will ever share will get as many views as that BuzzFeed trivia quiz on which Game of Thrones character you are. Actually, the accumulation of all the views you get in your lifetime will probably never (unfortunately) be as popular as any one Buzzfeed listicle!
Facebook later confirmed the bug only affected its mobile site and was quick to resolve the issue. The view counts no longer appear on user posts but we did get a taste of the comparisons that could be made. The Verge’s reporter, Nick Statt, illuminated on the fact that his commentary related to a Doritos article racked up almost 4 million views while Facebook’s Facebook page (how about that for a mind bender) post on promoting global internet access reached only 75,000 views even though the page has over 160 million likes. The disparity sounds outrageous but then again it likely reflects society’s real interests.
It’s safe to say Facebook has no future intentions of displaying view counts on user posts and certainly for good reason. Part of it is because of numerous complaints about creepiness and #stalkeralerts. The other part is that we have accepted the fact that we feed content into Facebook’s black box of algorithms and let it go to work. In fact, a Stanford study shows that your post will only reach about 35% percent of your friends. The view counts will probably be more disappointing than uplifting so it’s probably best hidden so as to preserve people’s self-esteem.
All companies and media organizations have had the problem of trying to reach bigger audiences for years and many have invested heavily in growing the number of page likes. However, it seems that only Facebook knows the secret ingredients that go into the News Feed. That’s until the next bug bites and we find out how big of a hit our egos will really take. I guess we’re not all as popular as we think we are. Of course, if you’re name is Cristiano Ronaldo, Rihanna or Justin Beiber, please feel free to ignore that last line.
Don’t be like Facebook and let us know about any bugs getting the best of you!