Are we sharing less? Facebook 21% down on personal posts

Facebook users are more inclined to share links to other websites than personal posts, say sources close to Facebook to The Information.

Personal posts on Facebook dropped 21 per cent year-on-year even as overall sharing remained consistent in the period

The worrying trend signifies that most Facebook users do not consider the social network private enough to share their personal or family pictures and stories anymore. With Facebook friends' lists now including business colleagues, acquaintances and friends of friends, it is understandable that a lot of users may hesitate to post pictures of their living rooms.

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Yet another factor is that Facebook's messenger service has over a billion users who can share such pictures and events directly on personal messages than putting them up on their Facebook profiles.

Will Facebook curb the trend?

To counter this declining trend, Facebook has taken certain initiatives recently like introducing the 'On This Day' feature which brings up previously-uploaded pictures and encourages users to share them or to comment on them. Facebook also reminds users of personal events like Mother's Day so that they can share more personal stories and pictures related to such events.

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Back in October, Facebook introduced a video feature in the Birthday's section which let you record a 20-second video and send it to your friends on their birthdays. The social networking giant also introduced a new feature to Live Videos this week which lets you broadcast your videos to specific friends than to everyone in your friends list.

Is Facebook itself responsible for this trend?

Facebook could be partly guilty for the lack of personal shares on its website in the last twelve months. It has sought to take on Google as well as other news websites while maintaining its profile as a social hub, which has led to a lot of users using the platform as a source of news and related events.

In October, Facebook launched Search FYI, a feature which let users access over two trillion public posts and join discussion forums. At that time, our Editor noted: 'Facebook is an information repository, not just personal but also of world events. With the biggest social database in the world they are in the unique position of not just having access to personal but also world news. Making it all searchable is making it a living history of world affairs that will be reported on in future. It is a brave new step which will make Facebook more enmeshed in the lives of the people whose social life it handles already.'

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Facebook also marked its entry in the e-commerce market through a feature which let you follow businesses on their Facebook pages and buy products directly from there without getting redirected. Even when you click on adverts, an expanded page will appear displaying products of a similar category.

To begin searching for products, you won't have to type in names of companies on the search bar. Instead, there will be a dedicated section on Facebook which will take you to a new page where you can browse through products offered by a large number of companies.

Facebook’s Search FYI will let you access two trillion public posts and discussions!

"We're looking to give people an easier way to find products that will be interesting to them on mobile, make shopping easier and help businesses drive sales," said Emma Rodgers, head of product marketing for commerce at Facebook.

With such initiatives in recent months, it is easy to reason why the share of personal posts has come down by a fifth in a year. As long as Facebook continues its ambition of becoming a global e-commerce, news and search hub, personal posts and shares will keep on dwindling.

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