This past weekend, Facebook rolled out a few new additions and changes to the website, yet no users had any idea that these changes were coming. The first change was the removal of the Highlights section, which shows what your friends have recently done while you were offline or what’s popular among them. Facebook also changed their News Feed, splitting it into two sections: Live Feed and News Feed. However, many members feel these changes are not for the better, and even some groups wanting the changes reversed have appeared, growing by hundreds of users per hour. So, why such a huge fuss over such “minor” tweaks?
Facebook hasn’t been known to make large amounts of design changes to their website, and when they have, it wasn’t a huge deal. However, the News Feed separation seems to be creating the most dissatisfaction. The Live Feed shows everything your friends are doing now, while the News Feed is for older events from the days before. Many say this is a small replication of the Twitter stream and so users who may not have been able to access the website for a day or two can catch up on the best news and updates from the previous day. However, many people disagree and prefer the old feed just the way it was and hate the new design, but it did not cause a significant traffic drop.
This displays the News Feed section, which shows older posts. The Live Feed, blank in the image, would show posts friends make while you’re online or throughout the course of the day.
Although Facebook executives plan to keep things the way they are, many users are still sending in their complaints. Many are comparing this to the dramatic changes made to MySpace that caused many users to leave or spending less time on the site, but many aren’t expecting people to leave over something like this. There are also rumors that Facebook will make more changes to profiles and their design by December, but there has been no conformation thus far.
Personally, I don’t like these changes, although change is important when you’re a site of this magnitude.