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Facebook – How many likes can I get?

I first wrote about Facebook on Oct 2, 2006 in my blog post “Facebook.com – a small take” and it has been about 9 years since, at that time Facebook was a small time player in the Indian social networking scene with about 2000 people covering the whole of India Network (yes!).

It was also a time when Orkut was starting to shine in the Indian landscape and Facebook was not known to many. But 9 years is a long time in technology space and a lot has changed since, Orkut shut down in 2014, other social networking sites like Twitter and Google+ came by, but the one site which still has a lot of people logging day in and day out has been Facebook.

To get a feel of Facebook’s reach within my friend circle (this circle has no connection with Google+ ;)) which shows over 500+ of them, I decided to do a simple experiment of doing a post on Facebook asking all my friends to like the post. The expectation was to get around 150 likes which is approx 30% of the friends. So how did it go, read on to find out.

On Oct 1st 2015, I started out by writing and posting the below:
Post made in Facebook

As soon as the post went up, the likes and comments started flowing in and by the end of the 1st hour of posting I had 19 likes on the post and drastically increasing to 93 at the end of day 1. With that kind of spike you would expect to hit 200 pretty soon. But this is where the Facebook usage patterns come into picture. Almost all the people who use and actually post content or like content do it regularly as often as every day.

So my post mostly made it to the news feed of all these people and managed to get those many like on Day 1. Then second day onwards when it was past the hype and out of the news feed of the Facebook frequenters, it could not manage to sustain the velocity and finally I ended up with just 109 likes over a period of 1 week. This was quite a lot considering that there was no content involved.

See the stats below:
Graph showing # of likes received over 7 days

So what did I learn by this small experiment?

  • There is so much content being generated all around, in terms of posts, photos, videos, share etc there is only a small window to actually make your post visible to your friends and things quickly go out of focus.
  • Majority of my friends are not regulars on Facebook and my post did not make it to their feeds for them to like.
  • If you actually want to publish something, post it else where like a blog and then share it in Facebook, this would ensure that the post is still available post the initial hype days and other people who are interested to read about it can reach it by either searching for it or by feed aggregators.
  • Posts which are more personal in nature like a photo or a life event carry more weight in Facebook algorithms for the news feed.

So what would be my take on Facebook now? Facebook has a huge user base and that user base is helping it keep it active and growing at a fast pace. The current pace of growth and user engagement will ensure that it would still be around for some more time. But with the younger generations looking at alternatives it would just be time before it joins Orkut and other similar sites, hopefully I would be proven wrong! For me personally, it is getting more and more tiring with so many updates, so I prefer to use the lists feature to group friends so that I ensure that I get through all of them without having to spend hours.

Currently the social networking scene is growing bigger due to the various social revolutions and agitations being planned and executed via the social networking platforms. Also the corporate sector is pushing forward to ensure that their brands are highly visible and have high engagement levels on the social networking platforms. These two things combined should ensure that Facebook is around till the next big thing comes in. But with Google more or less still strategising on the social game and Microsoft not in picture, it would be quite some time before we hear of the downfall of Faceboook. Till then keeping posting and hitting the like button!

Reduce Eye Strain at Night using F.lux

What happens when someone flashes a torch right at your face? You would be blinded for some while before the eye can adjust to the normal lighting around. This is what happens when we work on computers or laptops at night. The computer screens are normally set to emit very bright blue light which is suited for work during the day but as night arrives the computer screen would be brighter than the lighting around which strains the eyes and spoils the sleep when one goes to sleep after working on computer.

As I am someone who currently spends atleast an hour looking at this screen during night, just changing the brightness of the computer screen was not the solution. So I did a bit of web search and surprising found a simple freeware named ‘f.lux’.

I downloaded and installed f.lux and I must say I am impressed with what this small application can do. It runs in the system tray and starts up during system start up. The application makes the computer display warmer by changing to a lower temperature very much like Halogen which results in a orangish colored screen. Even though initially it felt a bit odd, but after two days my eyes got adjusted to it.

The website of f.lux describes the software as:

“During the day, computer screens look good—they’re designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the sun. F.lux fixes this: it makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.”

F.lux screenshot

F.lux has settings option for setting the location and lighting. The location setup helps f.lux identify the time and appropriately change the screen temperature as night approaches. The lighting option allows to configure the temperature, I have personally liked and set it to be 3400K at night and 5000K during the day time.

There have been times when I am doing some image editing when I have had to disable f.lux (as working on images when looking with orange tint is difficult), f.lux has this too covered by providing a option to disable it for an hour.

To conclude, I must say I have got so much used to this application that now I feel really odd if I have to disable it for sometime. This is one of those applications which cannot be shown using screenshot and you need to use it yourself to see the effect. Go ahead and give this application a try if you work on computers at night.

Website: F.lux – Better lighting…for your computer.