Fast Company

Facebook Knows You Don't Care About Your Coworker's FarmVille Achievements

FarmVille layout

Facebook's gaming platform, spurred on by huge successes like Zynga, has introduced social gaming to the masses and kick-started a minor gaming revolution. On the other hand, it's also caused massive clutter in the news feeds of anyone who doesn't play or care about games such as FarmVille or the intricacies of social Web agribusiness. How many times have you hurried to delete "High School Ex has built a new penguin pen" or "Weird coworker needs your help to instill proper values in his baby alpaca"?

For these users, the Facebook Games Team has announced a few new features designed to get at the root of that problem. First, there's going to be a smart analysis of individual interest. If you play these social games or click on links from those friends that do, Facebook is going to go ahead and assume that you're into the genre. That type of Facebook user will see expanded updates in their News Feed, no longer collapsed or aggregated.

For others, Facebook will remove the most inane stories from the News Feed. No longer will there be updates about a friend acquiring a new corner in Mafia Wars--instead, there will only be updates when something big happens, like several different friends signing up for one game all at once.

It sounds like a pretty good system, provided Facebook's algorithms correctly detect a user's level of interest.

Dan Nosowitz, the author of this post, can be followed on Twitter, corresponded with via email, and stalked in Brooklyn (no link for that one--you'll have to do the legwork yourself).

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3 Comments

  • Simma Lieberman

    It is about time. I've blocked a lot of people because i was tired of hearing about every cow they bought, or whatever they do in the games.

  • Jeremy Shea

    Virality will still be essential, but it will require fans of a game to promote it like they would promote a movie or TV show. People don’t promote movies because they get a bonus or gift for it, but rather because they think it was worth their time and money and want their social graph to find the same enjoyment. Games are just another form of entertainment.