How would you decide between showing more Ads on the facebook news feed vs showing a people you may know recommendation widget?
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in Execution by (22 points) | 122 views

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To start, I would first clarify the question. Is there any business goal we're trying to achieve? [Answer] no. Is there an option to show both features? [Answer] we're trying to decide which one to show at the top of the newsfeed. 

Okay, first I'd like to visit Facebook's goals. Facebook is a social networking platform that is aiming to connect people from around the world. Knowing this, I understand that Facebook relies heavily on how many customers sign up and use the platform. However, with this question I have to decide which one to show at the top. 

Let me think through the pros/cons of each feature 

Feature ProsCons
Ads Generates revenue for Facebook 
Users see ads that are relevant to them 
Uses find ads annoying 
People you may know (PYMK) Increases the number of connections made through Facebook 
May increase a users engagement/retention 
If a user has a mature network, they might not use PYMK
Friend suggestions are irrelevant 

Now, I'm going to segment user groups/types to understand who's using Facebook and why. The groups I will use are: high frequent users, casual users, and new users. 

High frequent users - I'm going to assume that this group of users already has a mature network established. Friend suggestions may/may not be relevant. They tend to use Facebook to find events, create events, catch up with old friends or browse content. They sign in multiple times a week. 

Casual users - this group of user is contining to build their network. Sometimes when they see friend suggestions, they view the persons profile and maybe make a connection. They use Facebook whenever they have to connect with someone or would like to browse content. They sign in multiple times a month. 

New users - this group is looking to established their network. They recently joined Facebook to see what it has to offer. 

If I think about a new users vs. a high frequent user - they have different needs from Facebook. For example, if we show a new user ads instead of friend suggestions - that will defeat the purpose of Facebook (which is to connect people from around the world). However, for a frequent user they have their network estabilished so showing relevent ads will help drive engagement. 

Since, engagement and retention is important for Facebook - I would run an A/B test to see which feature impacts engagement and retention. Some metrics I would track would be: click through rate (CTR) for ads and number of connections made through PYMK feature. 

Ultimately, if no one is using Facebook (and the retention is low) Facebook will not have oppertunities to show ads. Therefore, users building their social network is important and having retained users so that allows more oppertunities to show ads. 

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