Have you ever rushed to the exact shelf in a supermarket where you know you’re going to find your favourite green leaf tea only to discover that everything has been changed around and you have to search for it? It’s a well-known ploy to keep you in the store longer so that you’ll discover all sorts of goodies that you don’t normally notice and consequently you’ll purchase more than you meant to when you popped in.
Social media practices the same tactics. If you stay on a site longer you’ll be driving up their audience statistics and helping them to achieve more revenue. The payoff for you is that possibly their service has improved; the irritation comes when it hasn’t. Facebook have been nudging me to view other pages feed to the left of the main page for ages now and I’ve been ignoring it. Today they arbitrarily decided just to change things for me anyway. I’m not keen on the “pages I’ve liked” jumping around just to the left of my field of focus and yes I did spend a little longer in their store looking for the thing I wanted. I hope their minimally increased revenue is worth my time.