As soon as Facebook stopped hyper-promoting frictionless sharing in news feeds, usage plummeted. In April, The Washington Post’s Social Reader had 12 million monthly active users. Now, it has about 600,000 according to AppData, a decline of 95 percent. The Guardian had nearly 6 million monthly active users of its Facebook app in April. Now it has about 2.5 million, a decline of about 75 percent.
Most Facebook users didn’t want this, for all the reasons we’ve discussed before — thoughtless sharing means little to your friends, can lead to faulty assumptions about why you read something and have a chilling effect on what you choose to read.
Frictionless sharing was an idea we tried. It failed.