Facebook power users, hands up: You just added a new friend and the Messenger icon in the top-right corner immediately lit up with a notification.
“You are now connected on Messenger.” Cue feelings of annoyance and defeat.
Facebook feels your pain and it’s going to fix this. Not completely, mind you, but the company presumably hopes to make a small enough impression moving forward that people won’t feel compelled to drag the annoying feature again.
“We are working to make these notifications even more useful by employing machine learning to send fewer of them over time to people who enjoy getting them less,” a company spokesperson told TechCrunch.
The statement, which also notes that some people appreciate getting these messages (lolno), doesn’t clarify exactly how machine learning will decide who doesn’t enjoy getting those notifications. TechCrunch posits (probably accurately) that the people who don’t take the prompt to start messaging will see the notifications less often.
The notification might be less intrusive if Facebook didn’t automatically punt you to a completely different app every time you tap the icon in your mobile device’s browser. That’s one of the biggest reasons I still haven’t installed Messenger on my own phone, and is arguably a better fix (that might increase Messenger engagement!) than relying on AI to suss out the rare defenders of an unpopular feature.