Facebook has added new features to the website in order to compete with other social networks, such as the quickly growing Google+. The new changes made by Facebook seem to be getting a big, metaphorical “dislike” from many users.
One of the changes people do not seem to be very happy with is the new News Feed. The News Feed now shows what Facebook deems as “Top Stories” by default. With the “Top Stories”, what a user sees is based on an algorithm that uses factors such as which friends users interact with the most, and which friends’ posts have the most comments and “likes” on them.
A Facebook user that goes by the name of Kristy Montaney wrote that “The ‘top stories’ needs to be gotten rid of. They’re out of context and I want to check my News Feed from most recent to oldest, none of this ‘top stories’ stuff.”
Another Facebook user that goes by the name of Brandi Weeks, also had a strong opinion regarding the modified “Top Stories”feature, saying “Lame. Quite frankly I don’t want Facebook deciding who is most important in my life. I want my news feed to just go chronologically and if I want to hide posts from someone, I will. Stop changing. You’re becoming MySpace and I left there for a reason.”
Mark Tonkelowitz, a Facebook developer, said in a post on The Facebook Blog that “Now, News Feed will act more like your own personal newspaper. You won’t have to worry about missing important stuff. All your news will be in a single stream with the most interesting stories featured at the top.”
What seems to be the most aggravating new feature, according to users, is Facebook’s new scrolling rail on the right side of the homepage, called “The Ticker.” If a user’s friend “likes” a status update, comments on a post, or subscribes to a page, it pops up in the Ticker.
Many Facebook users seem to find the Ticker distracting and unnecessary, but Tonkelowitz believes that the Ticker is “an easy way to see and chat with your friends about photos, articles, and other things they’re posting in real-time. The new ticker helps [users] do just that,” he said. “Ticker shows you the same stuff you were already seeing on Facebook, but it brings your conversations to life by displaying updates instantaneously.”
Doug Gross of CNN mentioned in a related article that “In the history of Facebook changes, the pattern has typically been that users complain loudly at first and threaten to leave the site but then eventually learn to live with, if not like, the new approach.”
Facebook is currently the world’s largest social networking website. Even if its new features were created in an attempt to combat Google’s fresh social network, Google+ still has a ways to go to catch up to Facebook’s 750 million active users.