September 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm #142238
This week, Mashable warned us to “prepare for the new Facebook“. And boy, were they right.
If you have logged in to your account this week, you noticed that your homepage now looks like this:
A live feed (Twitter style) has been added on the right hand side, giving you instant updates of what your friends’ activity, along with a new “subscribe” option that was discussed on GovLoop earlier this week.This now creates a new challenge for businesses to keep their content on a user’s homepage.
However, the major overhaul is still yet to come, as Facebook is ready to launch their new Timeline format.
“Tell your life with a new kind of profile,” Facebook boasts. The new page is more personalized, and allows you to choose what information is featured. It is not clear how business pages will be affected by the launch.
What do you think about Facebook’s changes? Are you excited to learn about the new profile, or hesitant?
September 25, 2011 at 10:49 pm #142264
I am not managing a FB account so I am answering as a consumer. Just a quick note I have changed my profile over already.
- Initially I did not like the timeline but now I understand the whole “frictionless” stuff
- I love the app integration e.g. Spotify love that I can share music, watch movies and discover new stuff with friends
- Love the whole yearbook stuff so cute
- Love how I can bury stuff or hide stuff that I don’t like, also love how I can feature stuff
- Love how now I can see what brands I have liked and take whatever action I need too
September 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm #142262
In the “new” Facebook things are in different places and the process for doing certain things is different. When Microsoft re-vamps it’s MS Office suite users can take classes to get them up to speed on the changes. Facebook, however, is supposed to be fun and not require this kind of effort to use. I think that is what is behind the irritation.
September 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm #142260
@Ed, that is a good point. I was definitely irritated by all the changes. Plus, I honestly don’t need the live feed to tell me what everyone is doing. It’s been a lot more work unsubscribing to everyone, rather that to just check “top feed” instead of “recent feed”.
Do you think Facebook will lose customers by changing so frequently?
September 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm #142258
I won’t because I’m old and fat.
September 27, 2011 at 5:35 am #142256
They might lose customers if there was another service that was easier to use. Google+ ain’t it and I don’t foresee a return to My Space either. They’ll just rant on Facebook. 🙂
September 27, 2011 at 11:13 am #142254
Definitely hesitant. FB should be simple. It’s obvious they are marketing to different generation. It’ll just be a way for us to combine all the apps we use now in one place, and we’ll have to pay for it. There will be nothing like it for a few years unless someone is working on it in secret. Google + isn’t it. Anything that will require too much effort to transfer friends and acquaintances–forget it. Businesses and government offices are going to be faced with higher rates for the same priviledges. Guess advertising wasn’t enough.
September 27, 2011 at 1:02 pm #142252
Thankfully, according to this article in the International Business Times it doesn’t look like Facebook is going to be charging for usage anytime soon (whew!). But even as a member of the generation they are most likely marketing to, I’m not sure if I like all the changes either. The idea of having pinpoints on a map of the places I frequently go to is a little stalker-ish to me…
September 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm #142250
So I wrote up a small intro to the initial changes prior to Timeline, and as expected a wave of user complaints occurs prior to settling in and accepting the change. The issues around Facebook’s new features are two fold, and it has very little to do with the features themselves.
Communication – Facebook does a terrible job of telling users how the changes will affect them. They may hold press events, have tons of press followups, but where is the newsletter reaching out to older demographics? Where are the notifications to everyone else prior to the change? A bit of awareness and transparency will reduce the complaints.
Change – Change is hard on everyone. Facebook feels that if they just shove everything onto us at once that once the initial complaints are over with the bandwagon will kick in. People will find benefits to it, the spiral of silence for those who enjoy the product will mute those who dislike it, and everything will continue on its cycle.
There is only one major negative to the new features – Force automatic updates to the mini-feed. Unless users can block certain apps from pushing automatic updates to that feed there could be a lot more privacy issues. Over all Timeline is great though.
September 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm #142248
I completely agree, Elliot. Personally, I think a message to the Facebook inbox would be more effective than an email (especially for users like me, who have disabled all Facebook emails) but I generally agree. I am glad they gave warning about the timeline though, because otherwise everyone would be thrown for a complete loop!
Do you think any users are going to “give up” when the timeline is introduced?
September 27, 2011 at 1:15 pm #142246
Of course there will be some giving up, especially since Google+ is proving to be such a worthy competitor; however, Facebook still has all of our friends and families. Another leg up Facebook has is that it’s rather difficult to completely delete your account, so even if people do leave all it takes is one login and they are back.
Communities are built on bandwagons, ongoing discussions and the most advanced tools. If either of those start to wane we get results like that of Myspace.
Also this is a relevant Facebook group (jokingly of course): I AUTOMATICALLY HATE THE NEW FACEBOOK HOME PAGE
September 27, 2011 at 6:08 pm #142244
It is a usability issue. Imagine if you got in your car for your daily commute – and someone switched the location of the gear shift, radio and trunk. Even if the new radio is really great, you are trying to get somewhere now! You don’t want to watch a video or read a brochure. You want to go. Now. Just like yesterday.
So FB needs to figure out how to better initiate the users into the new changes. They will eventually like them, but we are creatures of habit and need to have that radio knob moved slowly.
I am trying to figure out what it means for Page managers. The changes seem to mostly be relevant to individual owners, yes?
September 27, 2011 at 6:59 pm #142242
As a page manager, I haven’t noticed anything drastically different yet, but there may be new changes once Facebook switches over to the Timeline format.
September 27, 2011 at 7:00 pm #142240
PS. I like your analogy about Facebook and commuters 🙂
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