Nobody sees every post from all 1200 of their Facebook friends – the Newsfeed algorithm does a remarkably good job at curating what we see only to updates from our closer friends we are more likely to care hearing from.
Likewise, the ‘Explore Posts’ and ‘Discover People’ suggestions on Instagram curates what gets recommended based on your social graph and past post engagement.
Since 2009, even Google’s search results have been personalised to you based on your past browsing history, then in 2012 the algorithm was again revised to personalise results even further based on your Google+ connections.
Ebay, YouTube, Etsy, RunKeeper among others, have all changed their platforms to feature a ‘Recommended for you’ feed based on your past browsing history and social connections.
Why this shift towards a social graph powered, ‘Recommended for you’ feed?
Firstly, each brand is essentially exposing the value hidden in your existing relationships to increase the network effect of the brand.
There’s already value in ‘Recommended for you’ algorithms based purely on your own preferences and interests. But when ‘Recommended for you’ also includes the preferences and interests of your friends – people you care about and are influenced by – then the value of the network goes up, and it becomes increasingly harder to leave the more friends you have.
Secondly, ‘Recommended for you’ algorithms transform our perception of a brand away from that of ‘nebulous masses’ towards feeling a sense of community – towards The Rule of 150.
Making the most of the network effect and The Rule of 150 is the differentiator for those Brands setup for success in the Connection Economy.