Two headlines from yesterday got a lot of tweets and RTs among my Twitter universe. Something about the two versions of this story made me glad the world still has independent-thinking journalists who want to dig into a story and not just pile on to the version of a story that pops up and matches their own point of view.
Facebook’s Social Reader Users are Fleeing in Droves
Decline Of Reader Apps Likely Due To News Feed Changes, Shows Facebook Controls The Traffic Faucet
Adding further to the need for different points of view were the charts used to illustrate each version.
Version 1 showed a shorter timeframe and resulting “cliff” in usage:
The second version covered a longer period and showed the anomaly was really the short-term jump in usage that preceded a return to levels only modestly below earlier levels:
The first version undoubtedly played well for those who think social reader applications are polluting newsfeeds or those who think they invade your privacy (or don’t like The Washington Post). The second version seems more believable by those who think Facebook has too strong a hold on how news and information is disseminated and publishers may be foolish to get in bed with it.
Fortunately, by the time I’d seen this avalanche of coverage, the more nuisanced story was out and I didn’t fall in the trap of retweeting one of the early versions.
And for those who don’t care for social reader applications regardless of the explanation, The Atlantic Wire eventually weighed in with this headline:
Facebook Social Reader Stinks Less Than Previously Thought
Perhaps the same could be said for technology news coverage.