If there's one thing to be learned from social media tools, it's that these services were not made to interact with one another. Complaints are rolling in and heated discussions are taking place about the noise levels within social media platforms. Here's a look at why noise levels are high and why filtering should be the next step for social media platforms.
Confusing Aggregation With Importation
With so many different platforms to aggregate, noise levels are surging. An underlying issue in the level of noise is that some of these services were not made to interact with one another. Users of social aggregation tools should understand that what you may consider noise is actually a side-effect of using a social aggregation platform. Users should also note when you may be confusing aggregation with importation.
Though importation may be a necessary step within aggregation, there is a difference between the two. Importation is usually more selective and limited to the inclusion of select items of other services. This may include common specifics such as names, ages, and locations. However, with aggregation a service attempts to conglomerate key features and entire contents of other services. This makes aggregation seemingly more flexible due to it's ability to encompass a wider scope of content.
Using Platforms for Different Purposes
The services that are aggregated are usually used for entirely different purposes. For example, some platforms are used to keep in touch with others such as family, friends, or business contacts. On the other hand, you have services that are used only for the purpose of finding more content and conversations pertaining to certain contents.
When you pull in an account from a platform that is completely unrelated to to the usage of another, you will inevitably create a small amount of noise. However, with social aggregation platforms it's hardly ever just one account. This can increase the noise level to an irritating high for other members of these services, including those within your personal network.
Services Cater To Various Audiences
Aggregated services are not only used for entirely different purposes, but also cater to different audiences. Consequently, who you may be catering to is dependent upon why you may be using the service. While some articles or content submitted to services may overlap, this is only because there are overlapping interests for the different audiences on these platforms.
How does this affect noise levels? If you're using a service to promote content, you may be considered noisy to those that are looking for conversations. If you're using a platform to keep in touch, then those looking for content and in depth conversation surrounding particular content would need a way to block out idle chatter.
Filters Are The Future Of Social Media
Filters are rapidly becoming a pertinent issue for developers of social media services. As a result, social aggregation platforms are in the perfect position to lead the pack. While this is no easy task and one that cannot be solved in its entirety, it would help resolve another issue social media users are facing: courtesy.
Instead of being able to freely add whatever service you wish, some users like myself are taking into account what others may consider noise on certain services as a courtesy to members. In essence, you are becoming our own filter. You may refrain from important other services for fear of being labeled as "noisy". With better filtering options, users can use these services to their fullest extent without becoming a nuisance to others or missing the benefits of aggregating all of their accounts.