This article was sponsored by Feedme.
A new app seeks to pull power away from Big Tech to control what news people see and put social media users back in the driver’s seat.
Feedme allows users to aggregate their social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, into one app and set the algorithm (order and frequency) with which they see different types of posts.
“Feedme is a first-of-kind superfeed app,” Feedme chief marketing officer Erin Brownback told The Western Journal.
“What that means is it brings feeds together from places you have been following content for years,” Brownback said.
“So that means all of the work you’ve done of curating the perfect group of people — public figures, brands — that you want to follow over the past years, that will automatically sync with Feedme and you will be able to decide if you want to see that content in that platform, just the way that you want to see it,” she said.
The Western Journal and other media outlets have documented how algorithm changes made by Facebook since the 2016 election have negatively impacted online news traffic, particularly to conservative sites such as Breitbart, The Daily Wire and TheBlaze.
Put simply, though a user has liked and followed various news sites, Facebook has restricted the content seen from those outlets.
Prior to Facebook’s highly publicized algorithm change in February 2018, The Western Journal ranked No. 4 in the most engaged news sites on Facebook, while Fox News held the No. 1 slot, according to Newswhip.
After the algorithm change, NBC News took over the top spot and CNN leaped from No. 16 to No. 2. Fox News dropped to the third position, while The Western Journal fell back to No. 12.
In March 2018 — the first full month following the algorithm change — CNN was on top, followed by NBC. Fox News remained the only conservative site in the top 10, with The New York Times, HuffPost, BBC, the U.K. Daily Mail, The Washington Post, Yahoo and the U.K. Guardian filling out the other slots.
The Western Journal no longer ranked in the top 20.
Last month, CNN again ranked No. 1, with the other top publisher spots on the platform dominated, with a few exceptions, by left-leaning news outlets.
Looking toward the 2020 election, one major implication will be that conservative candidates will find it much harder to communicate through social media.
“The platforms that were in place during the last election to be able to reach, especially conservative audiences, are not in place now,” Brownback said.
For example, The Western Journal had 11 billion impressions in Facebook users’ News Feeds in 2016, but the outlet is projecting having only 2.4 billion impressions in 2020, based on current algorithms.
“So suppression is happening like crazy,” Brownback said, and that is where Feedme comes in.
“You can control your own algorithm,” she said. “You can create your own algorithm. You can tell Feedme what you want to see, and we’ll serve that to you.”
“You can see content in viral order or chronological order,” Brownback said. “You can see more from one source, less from another source.”
The app gives users the ability to “Uprank” or “Downrank” stories in their feed based on whether they want to see more or less of that type of content.
With Feedme, you’ll never feel out of the loop on any of your favorite topics. All the information, streamlined to your fingertips.
— feedme.app (@FeedMeDotApp) July 16, 2019
“It’s like a self-driving car,” Brownback said. “We’ll learn what you like just by the way you use it, but then you can always take the wheel.”
Feedme launches this month with a limited preview release by invitation, which will grow in the months ahead on a rolling basis.
Those who join in the early months will have the ability to help shape what the final version of the app becomes.
Anyone interested in trying the free app can sign up here.
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