Facebook Users Still Fuming Over News Feed Overhaul

Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook changed its News Feed a few weeks ago (for what feels like the fiftieth time this year), and has once again drastically altered the user experience. While the company says it believes the new design will help users navigate status updates and photographs better, most members thus far appear unimpressed with the new changes.

Facebook fanatics would have noticed the change to their favorite social networking site sometime around September 20th. It essentially does away with the dual News Feed, which had previously divided status updates, photo updates, recommended links, videos, etc. into a most popular tab and a most recent tab.

Newspaper the Inspiration for New News Feed

In its place is a single news stream that limits viewing to just those updates Facebook considers the most interesting or important.

Facebook believes the news feed acts something like a newspaper, with the front page headlines those most readers would find most relevant to their interests. Presumably, status updates involving cats, dogs and sports teams would be relegated to the back pages -- or, in this case, the lower end of the News Feed. (Source: msn.com)

"When you pick up a newspaper after not reading it for a week, the front page quickly clues you into the most interesting stories," said Mark Tonkelowitz, Facebook engineering manager.

"In the past, [Facebook's] News Feed hasn't worked like that. Updates slide down in chronological order so it's tough to zero in on what matters most... Now, News Feed will act more like your own personal newspaper. You won't have to worry about missing important stuff." (Source: cbsnews.com)

Facebook Users Wholly Unimpressed

One wonders if Tonkelowitz and the rest of the Facebook team were using their own site this past year. After all, it was plainly clear that one could flip between those two settings (most important and most recent) before the change.

On my Facebook News Feed, for example, virtually no one seems happy with the change. Why? Because most frequent Facebook users follow the site closely enough that they can parcel out what's "important" and what's not themselves. They simply want to see what has changed since the last time they visited (which is typically a few hours prior). Facebook has now made that more difficult to achieve.

Facebook says there's a new tool that could help this problem. Dubbed the Facebook "Ticker", it will allow users to get real-time updates on statuses and will give people the opportunity to immediately join into conversations on these updates as they're added to the site. But even that will likely jar users -- especially those concerned about privacy. (Source: cnn.com)

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