What The Heck is Facebook Doing Now?

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Oh Facebook, you were first to the party in 2004 but now you are that awkward kid standing against the wall who wants to be bustin a move with the cool kids. It’s admirable that you attempt to jump out there but so sad to watch, your off beat dance steps just hurt to behold.

Facebook has made some changes yet again:

What’s New?

1. News Feed

- Popular Stories

- Most Recent Posts

- Real Time Friends Feed

2. Email Notification Frequency

3. Business Page Friends Feed

 

Why the Changes?

Google+?

 

Are these good changes?

Not really

Facebook News Feed Changes

You probably noticed when you got on Facebook today that your news feed looked A LOT  different. Overnight Facebook launched their new and improved news feed. You now get ‘Top Stories From The Last Day’ at the top of your feed, ‘Recent Stories’ below that, nifty little blue triangles in the top corner of a post to let you know that you may like that post – just in case you weren’t aware that you may like that post, and a new real time what your friends are doing at this very second feed on your right sidebar.

First Impressions:

Too much stuff! There is just too much happening here…scrolling sidebar activity, make this a top story pop up (blue triangle), down arrows to hide, unsubscribe and/or unsubscribe. And there is no way to control this new madness! After you leave your feed for the first time your Facebook news feed just shows recent stories – you lose the top stories section and there is no way to get it back, at least that I can find right now. They just drift down into the Facebook abyss and then randomly pop back in here and there.

Facebook is obviously attempting to be more real time, but in there quest to do this have again missed the mark. I want real time information but I want to be able to control what information comes in. If you mark something as a top story you are essentially telling Facebook that you like that “type” of story and Facebook will use it’s algorithm to populate your news feed with those type of stories. But what if I just liked that one post, I don’t necessarily want to only that type of information or that person in my feed.

The Old News Feed:

You could control your content with one to two clicks. At the top of your feed you had most recent and most popular, you clicked there to change your feed. If you clicked most recent you got your list option – without leaving the stream you could switch the feed to a Facebook list. If you didn’t wanted most recent without having to manually switch your feed you could default it. Now Facebook is like Twitter was 2 years ago, lot’s and lot’s of streaming information that would take all day to sift through.

Controlling the Facebook News Feed:

Two words….Facebook Lists! Create lists and take the extra step to add people in them. Facebook lists are not as easy to create and add to as Google+ circles but they will help you use Facebook in the most efficient way possible.

Real Time Friend’s Activity:

If you blink you’ve missed everything, it is small, it is fast, and a big distraction. But if it is here to stay, one thing I do like about it is that if you do happen to see something you like and click on it a box pops open for you. Pop up boxes can be annoying but in this case it works for me, I don’t get taken away from the news feed, I can participate in the conversation right there and then and then quickly get back to hating the news feed. ;)

 

Facebook makes changes to the Business Page also

What’s New?

1. Friend Activity for Pages

2. Share Notifications

 

Why the Changes?

ROI for Business Admins?

 

 

Are these Good Changes?

Yes and No.

Facebook Business Page Changes:

Facebook added the share notification to business pages in the last week or so and I must say I love that addition. Now on top of seeing likes and comments on a post you can see who shared the post and the likes and comments on that share. This is a fabulous new addition, because it shows business page owners that content travels. People do not always like or comment on a post, sometimes they share it on their wall to bring the conversation to their hood. And honestly I love that, it is in my opinion even better than commenting on my page where all the people who already like me can see it – now you are telling people who may not like or even know about my business on Facebook about me. So nice job Facebook….keep features like this coming!

Now the friend feed activity on pages, here is the not so good addition. It is just another time and space waster in my opinion, you cannot see the feed if you are using the page as the page and you can only see YOUR friends activity. What’s so bad about this, well if your page has multiple administrators and you are doing Facebook ads to build your page a good majority of the fans/likes of your page may not be your “friends”. So I can see what a handful (comparatively speaking) are commenting and liking on my page and that does what for me?

Now you maybe saying this feature is for personal Facebook use – getting to see what your friends are doing on a Facebook business page. And to this I say it is still a miss. Most people watch their news feed instead of going to a page, so most people see what their friends are liking, commenting on, and checking into from their home feed. Will this new feature bring more likes or activity to a business page…I think not. I don’t think it benefits the page owners or the Facebook users as a whole.

What they should have put here was a top fan/like activity feed. Business page owners want to know that their efforts are paying off, if you want to add another feed option show me who and what is most active on my page. This will allow me to dive deeper into the demographic and content analysis, you would also be able to use this to reward your brand advocates and capitalize on trending topics.

Facebook is trying….but like watching The Geek (Anthony Michael Hall) trying to dance with Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald) in Sixteen Candles it makes you cringe a bit. I could only shake my head this morning when I saw the news feed changes….geeky dance moves maybe funny to watch on the big screen but now I REALLY feel Samantha Baker’s pain.

 

 

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About Author

Bridget is President of The Get Smart Web Consulting Group, a web presence and digital strategy firm with offices in San Diego County California and Collier County Florida. But more importantly she is a web, tech, and Twitter addict!