Content Sutra, Ep. 8: What Happens When the Algorithms Take Over?

When I decided to go to a college that didn’t require me to take any math or science courses, I never thought I’d spend so much time analyzing algorithms. But thanks to the Facebook-ification of social media, algorithm talk is now inescapable. This past week, Instagram rolled out an algorithm for its feed, and joined Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and others in attempting to figure out what we, as users, want.

As Dillon Baker notes in this piece from earlier in the week, the move has huge ramifications for marketers. But as Contently co-founder Shane Snow and I discuss in this week’s podcast, it also has big ramifications for the media and society as large. Listen below or download on iTunes. And please don’t forget to rate us on iTunes and tell us what you think!


(2:30) Shane and I recap SXSW and explain what brands need to do to break through at marketing-bro spring break.

(7:30) Instagram’s move to a Facebook-esque feed will affect marketers, but how much? Ultimately, this is more about monetization than anything.

(14:00) We dive into the ramifications that having all our content filtered through a feed could have on the media and politics. While unlikely, it’d be far easier for Facebook to rig an election than you think.

(28:00) Facebook is opening up Instant Articles to all brands and publishers on April 12. Is there any reason not to join? We break down the case for small publishers, B2C brands, and B2B operations.

(42:20) Finally, we dig into Medium’s decision to spin off Matter as a startup-media incubator, and whether it can possibly work.

Image by E+

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