Facebook changes draw ire; New news feed gets few Likes

By Richi Jennings (@richi ) - September 22, 2011.

Mark Zuckerberg
The September 2011 Facebook changes are inspiring much wailing and gnashing of teeth amongst its userbase. Yet again, users are getting distressed by Zuckerberg's modifications to their beloved social platform. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder who moved their cheese. Again.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Topical e-cards for the Facebook changes...

 Sarah Jacobsson Purewal reports:

Now when you log in to Facebook, you'll see a smart News Feed with all of your updates...in one place. Facebook will...highlight..."top stories" with a pale blue corner...determined based on a number of factors...includ[ing] your relationship to the person posting the update, how many comments and likes the update receives, and what type of update it is.


Facebook's new News Feed has only been live for a few hours, but people are already voicing their annoyance. ... Facebook's also added a real-time feed in the upper-right corner of the page.   

    Kristin Burnham adds:

The News Feed redesign is intended to help you keep up with people that matter to you, regardless of how often you visit the site. ... Facebook users, who are notorious for aversion to change, are already...calling this redesign everything from "unnecessary" to "far too complicated."


Facebook says that the [changes] do not affect your privacy. ... Ticker will only display information that you're already able to see.   

David Cohen has advice for the haters, with browser extensions:

Better Facebook offers features such as tabbed news feeds, skins...advanced feed filters...hid[ing] posts that have been read, removal of recent activity...enlarged thumbnails...and highlighted new comments. ... It is available for Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera 11...but not for Internet Explorer.


F.B. Purity, short for “Fluff-Busting Purity,” helps Facebook users filter out application spam...and select which boxes they want displayed on the right-hand side...as well as adding the ability to hide the...ticker/happening now, the chat box, comments on event walls, comments and likes in top news, and questions. ... [It] also adds a “delete recent activity” button.   

  Wayne Grayson is fed up:

I...dread [a Facebook change] for the ridiculous outburst it inspires from users, filling my timeline with outrage. ... [But] I’m being forced to join their ranks. Facebook is officially a mess.


There’s simply too much going on and too much to filter out. I get so overwhelmed...for whatever reason that sidebar just makes the page feel claustrophobic. ... It’s just lazy design.


Think you can run? Think you can just scroll down the page to get away? False. The ticker is coming too. ... Facebook is the beer goggles of social networking right now.   

  Meanwhile, Virginia DeBolt at least sees some upside:

You can subscribe to a page...even if the page owner isn't among your friends. Subscribing is more like Following than Friending. (Sounds like Twitter, doesn't it?)


There's no need to approve people who subscribe to your page, and the number of subscribers is unlimited. ... there's a new link under your profile photo for setting up your Subscribers options. You must opt-in to allow subscribers.


If you unfriend someone, they are still able to subscribe to your public updates. ... [T]eachers can make public statements...without letting the students friend them. ... Any subscriber can comment on your public updates - a potentially good or bad feature.   

   And Finally...
Topical e-cards for the Facebook changes:

[hat tip: Dug Smith]
Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com. You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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