The sheer power of Facebook’s news feed is not a matter of debate – especially for publishers. But Om Malik makes a different challenge in this thoughtful piece for the New Yorker:

However, every time Facebook’s news feed, introduced almost a decade ago, is manhandled, I am left wondering whether it has to change the feed with brute force because its algorithms are just too dumb to improve the service in a way that suits both Facebook—by making money and monopolizing our attention—and its 1.6 billion users.

Facebook Newsfeed

In short: every time Facebook has to manually intervene in the workings of the newsfeed like this – it’s an indication of a failure of the algorithm.

What are the realistic abilities and limits of Facebook’s news feed? The more the company tweaks the feed in a crude and blunt manner, the more one has to wonder if Facebook’s alogrithms are not only rudimentary and basic but also possibly the company’s Achilles’ heel.