Considering that 65% of online adults use social sites and that as many as 34% of women check Facebook before having their first cup of joe, chances are that you’ve noticed the UI changes and feature updates that Facebook has, once again, made this week.
Judging by the initial backlash seen in status updates around the globe,
many folks aren't pleased with another round of changes. I even have to admit to initially feeling a little "put out" about having to familiarize myself with yet another round of Facebook upgrades as it feels like there has been one a week lately.
But the truth is that all things change. The world is a different place everyday; businesses of all kinds need to keep up. And thus…sites evolve. If they don't, they die [Friendster anyone?]. Beyond that, especially since FB revolves around human interaction, why would we NOT expect it's features and functionalities to change, grow, and adapt?
While most of us don’t like change, after a while we grow accustomed to the new ways of doing things and in some cases learn to appreciate the change and forget the way it was before.
Some of the most recent changes are yet to be widely released, especially the Timeline— which promises to ‘share and highlight your most memorable posts, photos and life events…where you can tell your story from beginning, to middle, to now’. This feature looks particularly interesting and will have a profound effect on how we view social networks because instead of being an “of the moment” medium, Facebook will become a living history. Instead of simply being a way to communicate what you had for dinner last night, perhaps social networks can teach future generations how a revolution in Egypt unfolded by providing greater context around complex historical events.
What the Facebook Changes Mean for User Profiles
News Feed: “Top news” and “recent stories” are now combined into one news feed. If you see a blue triangle in the upper left corner of a feed item this means that Facebook has deemed this is a “top story” based many factors, “including your relationship to the person who posted the story, how many comments and likes it got, what type of story it is, etc. For example, a friend’s status update that might not normally be a top story may become a top story after many other friends comment on it.” You still have control over whose updates you see and have even more control than previously with the ability to specify which updates you get from your friends via the dropdown in the upper right corner of updates.
Facebook- Top Stories notification as seen via desktop browser
News ticker: The news ticker is meant to give you an up-to-the-moment look at what your friends are doing on Facebook in real time. The information shown here is much like the news you’ve been accustomed to seeing, but in a more immediate and consolidated space. Many people have been concerned that this feature update will share more than they would like. To change who can view what, anywhere on Facebook see: How Sharing Works Now and check your privacy settings.
Timeline: This functionality, as I mentioned is not yet released but you can learn more and sign up here.
What the Facebook Changes Mean for Pages and Businesses
We’re not really sure just yet as these changes pertain only to the Feed and User Profiles, but if history is any indication we’ll see updates to Pages in the near future.
We could go on and on about everything from yesterday’s F8 conference but so many others already have. Below is a round up of the articles we’ve been keeping an eye on:
- Less publicized changes
- About the Timeline on the Facebook blog
- The Evolution of the Facebook Profile (in pictures)
- Facebook Timeline Redefines User Profiles
- Updates to the News Feed
- Backlash against Facebook changes
What are your thoughts on this latest round of Facebook changes?