The short answer is : You observe what the user likes and propose them the content vs limiting them to follow the content their “social contacts” generate.
Interests matter, contacts don’t.
In real life if you actually observe, we do have friends, but we don’t do all the activities with all of our friends. We group our friends in different categories. Movie friends, poker friends, beer friends and so on.
What facebook did in the beginning was create a social network around the interest of college kids which was to see/date each other. But as it grew it got labelled as mom and pops’ social network (Kids had snapchat, then.)
Snapchat allowed people to discover stuffs based on interest and so does TikTok. When you let that happen; by default, users follow their interests and friends don’t become relevant anymore.
Why aren’t #hashtags cutting it ?
You could argue, Twitter and instagram do have hastags to follow interests. Well who is going to go search, enter the hashtag and browse and keep doing that repeatedly. Why can’t there be just a feed dedicated to that? And what about why should i even bother with hashtags.
Remember, with each advancements, we are getting lazier, our standards are getting higher.
That way the app actually would learn about my interests even without asking me. This validates another theory on a completely different level : don’t ask, observe. The behavioral design is better than useless surveys anyways.
So this makes me believe that serving content to the users based on their behaviour via an algorithm in the background allows users to automatically ignore contents they won’t be interested in.
Facebook and twitter are already far behind in “Social” game and they are far off from being able to bring democracy in “social networks”.
Looks like the East has this under their control. What do you think?