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.