New Facebook Changes: helpful or annoying?

Like many of you, I woke up today with an interesting email from Facebook that immediately grabbed my attention, in a good way:





The euphoria was not to last long, though. Checking Facebook shortly after I was done with email, I found myself scratching my head. Instead of the usual newsfeed was a new format which I found rather cumbersome. The folks I wanted to catch up with were not on the feed at all. Instead, it was loaded with the stories Facebook deemed “top”. There were a few friends’ updates but it was mostly from pages that I had “liked”, music, entertainment, etc. Sure – I like to keep up with those but I wouldn’t call them “top” over my true friends.

Equally concerning was the lack of control over my newsfeed. Instead of me picking the people and groups I wanted to catch up on daily, now, it appears, Facebook decides. At a first glance, the result seems to be a popularity contents driven by “likes” and comments. I know many people who don’t “like” things on principle. I also know that sometimes the best posts are the ones not necessarily “liked”.

I asked my teenagers what they thought of the new newsfeed layout. My 17 year old daughter told me she just “ignored it”. ┬áMy 14 year old daughter told me that the only plus in the changed format was that it made poking a lot easier. Other than that, she found it “annoying”.

When I first joined Facebook, I loved the ability to connect with the people important to me, personally and professionally. The newsfeed feature allowed a quick way to catch up on everyone’s posts. These new changes, however, are distracting and make it near impossible to do that.

Facebook hoped to make the newsfeed more like a newspaper and perhaps these changes accomplish that. Like a newspaper, we now get all the updates from every genre and group we “like”. What about our friends, though? What about continuing the conversations and connections that drew us all to Facebook initially? One day into these new changes and I’d have to conclude that this new change could be a deal breaker for me in the long run, especially with Google + online now and allowing the conversations we once enjoyed on Facebook to be readily visible.

Some changes take a bit to get used to so perhaps as this new change settles out we’ll all find it more valuable…perhaps.

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