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Decline In Original Sharing Worries Facebook: Here's What's Happening

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Facebook is reportedly experiencing a steady decline in "original" sharing of content on news feed, which is potentially a major concern for the company.

According to a report from The Information, sources familiar with the matter have let on that as of mid-2015, Facebook witnessed a 21 percent decline year-over-year in "original" sharing.

The publication's sources reveal that as the social networking site becomes older, users have become less inclined to share updates on their lives even as their list of friends and acquaintances continues to swell.

A factor contributing to the lack of interest in posting "original content" updates to Facebook could be due to the fact that one may not feel comfortable sharing an anecdote or that they have checked in to a restaurant. This is also to do with that one may not be willing to share the updates as they may be irrelevant to quite a few of their connections.

Facebook also has a dedicated team in place, which is working on finding methods and ways on how to tackle and counter the major decline.

The sources also disclose that Facebook staff, tasked with sorting out the problem has coined a term for the decline in intimacy called context collapse. While the overall sharing may be strong for Facebook, there is a shifting trend of sharing personal content such as photos and status updates to limited audiences on platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat etc.

As the service evolves, the 1.6 billion users on Facebook have given its primary cash cow — the original content sharing — a miss and are instead posting information and news from alternate sites.

Facebook is aware of the issue and has been clandestinely trying to counter the context collapse problem to inspire people to share personal content. The recently-launched Live video tool from Facebook is a step in this direction.

Moreover, the social networking site has resorted to alternate tactics as well, aiming to encourage sharing of more original posts. The "On This Day" feature from Facebook, which debuted in 2015 and brings up older memories, was launched to get users to proactively talk about their memorable moments.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also spoken about inspiring personal sharing at staff meetings in 2016, according to people familiar with the matter.

Facebook, meanwhile, maintains that there is no alteration in the levels of sharing.

"People continue to share a ton of Facebook; the overall level of sharing has remained not only strong, but similar to levels in prior years," noted a spokesperson from the company.

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