Facebook is, at its best, a great way for people to keep connected with friends and family. But when it becomes a platform for news and information, “it doesn’t work well.”
That’s the view of Flipboard CEO Mike McCue, who joined Cheddar on Wednesday to talk about the social media company's latest changes to its news feed and how his own eight-year-old publishing platform differentiates itself.
“Facebook being used as a way to inform a population, it doesn’t work well,” he said. “So I think publishers will always view Facebook as a distribution vehicle for sort of serendipity, discovery.”
“What Flipboard’s trying to do is create a platform that’s specifically built to inform and inspire people about the things that they really care about.”
McCue launched Flipboard only a few months after Steve Jobs first introduced the iPad in January 2010. He conceived of the app as a “social magazine” for Apple’s latest device that would take advantage of iPad’s screen space to create unique, eye-catching designs for published content.
McCue recently penned an op-ed in Ad Age in which he discussed the five lessons algorithms need to learn from journalism.
“The most important one is truth in accuracy,” he said. “When you are building algorithms that are responsible for informing entire populations, the whole society of people, you want to make sure that you are applying basic journalist principles to those algorithms.”
The executive complimented Facebook on its recent decision to de-emphasize content from publishers and brands while putting a higher priority on content that friends and family members share.
The changes were made after Facebook endured months of criticism about how its algorithms favored misleading news and outright fabrication to the extent that it affected the 2016 election.
“This is ultimately a good move for Facebook,” he said. “It focuses the company more on friends and family and keeping up to speed with your friends and family, which is what Facebook is great at."
For the full interview, click here.