The Newsfeed (Social Aspects) are just for fun. This is where Austin will often post news or pictures to his to his social media feed within the main menu.
Austin's posted news and pictures are sent to the unexpected Characters in the game. Those unexpected Characters are Austin's friends, family and neighbors. They will comment and like Austin's posts in the newsfeed, add Austin as a friend and post their own updates in the Newsfeed and then then Austin will comment and like everything in the newsfeed too. All of this is just for fun and to give more information on the cast of characters -if you don't care about the NPCs you can ignore the social media part and just check the current tasks (missions) on the "To Do" portion of Austin's tablet menu. You don't need to keep up-to-date on the feed to continue upgrading the garden. If you see orange dot, it means there is a new message from one of the characters in the social media feed. (However, there is a currently a bug where everything will be orange-dotted when you first open the game. If you open the newsfeed and the exit, straight away, the orange dots should go away.)
These are his friends in Gardenscapes and Homescrapes.