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New Changes on Facebook: Thumbs Up or Down?

If you’re one of the 750 million (and growing) Facebook users who logged into your profile recently and noticed some changes with the top stories on your news feed and other areas, what do you think about them? According to CNN this week, many users are unhappy with the new changes.

CNN quoted Facebook user Franklin Habit who wrote on the site’s official Facebook page, “This is absolutely the worst of the many wrong-headed ‘improvements’ you have made, and that’s quite a feat,”…”I think Facebook’s usefulness to me has now been outstripped by its lack of ease in use.”

Ouch! But haven’t we seen complaints before in response to other changes that Facebook has made in the past? It might be hard to remember now, but Facebook released their new layout at the end of 2010, and they saw quite a bit of complaining then too. However, the layout quickly became the norm, and most users became familiar with it in a short amount of time.

Social Media Administrator Chelsea Janke of SMI sees the recent complaints as a desire for consistency and familiarity. “The specific layout and location of features in Facebook becomes a comfort for users,” said Janke. “When individuals try to find buttons that have been moved, or log in for the thousandth time but see unfamiliar layouts, they become frustrated quickly.”

For you avid Facebook users, it might be as if you walked into your bedroom and someone had rearranged everything without telling you. Nothing is lost, but it might take some time to get used to the changes.

Facebook developers insist that the justification for their changes is to simply allow users to see the posts that are most important to them – not the most recent info. It’s too bad that trying to appeal to the user isn’t always appealing to the user.

What’s your take? Are you annoyed by the new updates, or are you rolling with the changes? Keep in mind that Facebook developers are well aware of the threat of becoming the next MySpace – big today, gone tomorrow. They are trying to adapt before becoming extinct.

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”  – Benjamin Franklin

Published on: September 21, 2011