Many Facebook users slam revamped News Feed

Change is hard, especially if you are a big Facebook user. The social networking web site decided to make a major change in its News Feed feature on Tuesday, with the site automatically selecting which posts from friends are considered "top stories" and putting them on top of a user's news feed instead of having the posts appear in chronological order. The change has been met with lots of protests from many Facebook users, some of which posted up their complaints on, where else, their Facebook page.

A number of Neowin readers also posted up comments stating their issues with the changes in our first news story. One such comment came from "+Chicane-UK" who wrote, "Horrendous. Do they even test this stuff? I just want my news feed unfiltered and in chronological order.. it seems to much to ask. I'll decide what news is important to me. I don't want Facebook to try and do it for me."

A Facebook spokesperson told USA Today, "Our goal with these improvements is to make it easier for people to keep up with their friends no matter how frequently or infrequently they visit Facebook — and to make sure they never miss important updates." The spokesperson added that it still gathers feedback on all of Facebook's features and will continue to issue improvements.

These new changes come on the eve of Facebook's f8 developers conference which will begin later today. The event is supposed to feature a number of other announcements which might include Facebook's new music service, an agreement with a video streaming service such as Hulu and more.

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It only really looks different if you don't visit the site frequently. If you do, then it pretty much always has the "most recent" (chronological, newest at top) view that everyone wants. Big deal. Keep it open in a separate tab... Move on...

I think they are good specially the way to set my news feeds to only display activity from your close friends, banning everyone and everything from that page takes forever I've tried, I personally use FB for the messages, no one gets to post on my wall and never upload photos but I let others tag me I was getting tired and annoyed by all the crap people post, so now I get to choose whose information I see.

Oh god this isnt news! It makes barely any change what so ever to it. Theres a news feed on the top right and thats about it! I have no problem with. People are just scared of change!

I like your thinking.
If this was news there'd be a Twitter account tweeting "major" changes to Facebook every 30 seconds.
I swear, that's how frequently they make changes to the site. Most stuff can be minor (replacing CSS padding with CSS margin is a good example) but they're changes nonetheless.

Simple: we don't care about people that are scared of change. They'll stop complaining in a week anyway, so get over it. These kinds of 'news' posts might've been news 5 years ago, but not anymore.

So how about someone at this F8 developers conference decide to create an application that will revert the news feed back to it's old appearance! I hate the ticker to the right most of all. It's already having an effect on my CPU (Firefox, Chrome, and IE all use 8% to 15% cpu. Before I only noticed it using 2-3%)

this was one of the top news stories on the today show this morning.... first time ive seen that... "serious complaints about a new facebook update, with more major changes on the way"

The way I see it is that they took the two tabs at the top of the page for Top Stories and Most Recent and merged them into one page.,with Top Stories appearing at the top.

What I'd like to know is what is constituted as a top story for Facebook to promote it to the Top Stories section, from what I can see it just based on how many comments and likes a certain post has gained and then its thrown into the top stories section. So if I post a status saying Ive just gone to the toilet and 15 people comment and like my status then all of my friends will have it appear in their top stories section?

It doesn't seem like a good thing really. I'm not overly fussed as I actually keep my friends list to a realistic level but I just wondered how it determines what to be an important story to you.

However you can unset posts from 'Top Stories' and Facebook will "learn" to not share those kinds of posts anymore (no idea how).

Depicus said,
I miss the dramatic poke, its not as much fun now...

Poking doesn't require 2 clicks anymore, and waiting for it to load! One click, and you're done.

Callum said,
It's worth pointing out that the majority of Facebook's 750,000,000 users appear to have not complained.

You know all 750,000,000+ users? o_O

It's a good update. They just need to sort out the main feed. The first thing I used to do when I logged on to old Facebook was click most recent. Now it's just random.

We *really* going through this garbage again? Another FB group with 1 million followers (half of which join to tell the whingers to STFU)... another bunch of people whingeing simply because they can't cope with change... move on people - you'll get used to it within a week or two and won't know any different.

It's a rare moment; it's the first Facebook update that I don't like. Only because like dragon2611 said, they didn't bother to keep in the "Most Recent" button. I don't like the Top News feature, but I always had the option to switch to Most Recent, so it didn't bother me. But now, it's all been muddled together. You've got Top Stories at the top of the page, then scroll down and you'll see Most Recent posts, but if there's any new updates, you have to scroll back up to the top, click the button to show the new posts, and then they show up on top of the Top News section, so now that's in the middle.

MightyJordan said,
It's a rare moment; it's the first Facebook update that I don't like. Only because like dragon2611 said, they didn't bother to keep in the "Most Recent" button. I don't like the Top News feature, but I always had the option to switch to Most Recent, so it didn't bother me. But now, it's all been muddled together. You've got Top Stories at the top of the page, then scroll down and you'll see Most Recent posts, but if there's any new updates, you have to scroll back up to the top, click the button to show the new posts, and then they show up on top of the Top News section, so now that's in the middle.

The introduction of the Ticker means that you don't have to scroll back up and click a button to see the more recent posts since you scrolled down. You now see posts as they happen in the ticker, even if you're halfway down the feed reading and interacting with earlier posts

What most people have missed is that there is a huge privacy hole in the ticker. Let's say I post a comment on a photo uploaded by a friend X. The comment is posted up on the ticker of every person I am friends with, even if they aren't friends with X. And when you click the update you can see the full photo as well what's the point of arranging the privacy settings?

thnok said,
What most people have missed is that there is a huge privacy hole in the ticker. Let's say I post a comment on a photo uploaded by a friend X. The comment is posted up on the ticker of every person I am friends with, even if they aren't friends with X. And when you click the update you can see the full photo as well what's the point of arranging the privacy settings?

Doesn't that only happen if the person who's photo it is has their settings set to "friends of friends"

thnok said,
What most people have missed is that there is a huge privacy hole in the ticker. Let's say I post a comment on a photo uploaded by a friend X. The comment is posted up on the ticker of every person I am friends with, even if they aren't friends with X. And when you click the update you can see the full photo as well what's the point of arranging the privacy settings?

This isn't a privacy hole. People were able to see those comments of yours, other comments, and certain wall posts when they visited your profile and checked out your recent activity before. It's all down to the privacy settings of the person's content you're commenting on. If it's set to 'Friends of friends' or 'Public', of course your friends will see that post in the ticker All of your friends have the option of restricting content to either certain friends or just all of their friends if they wish.

I will also add that there is an icon now on every post that tells you how public the post so that you know the privacy of something before you get involved in it.

This is actually one of their worst changes. The chronological order of posts was about the most structured part of the site. Now, it seems unknown algorithms decide what we want to see. Imagine if tv schedules were like this, or your email. Or physical post. 'Important' items first, then a few pictures FB think you'll enjoy, then maybe some Farmville excitement. Oh, and a letter/clip/bill/court-order about something you deem important which FB withheld because it deemed it not important for you.

dragon2611 said,
It wouldn't be hard for them to have left the "Most recent" button in though would it?

Of course it wouldn't have been hard, but if they left that in, we wouldn't be able to enjoy the benefits the combined feed provides us.

Callum said,

Of course it wouldn't have been hard, but if they left that in, we wouldn't be able to enjoy the benefits the combined feed provides us.

What benefits? How the hell does confusion = benefit? The new feed is horrible. I don't want top stories and whatnot clogging up my feed. It's an unnessesscary change. It's just a clusterf**k of a mess.

Whhopppieee dooo .... Who cares? This isn't a genuine reaction. It's a typical "I hate change" reaction. The changes are for the better. If anyone thinks they're not, it's because they haven't used them, only SEEN them and blurted out "OMGZZZZ I HATE IT"

No these changes are not for the better. Not only do do they make Facebook even more confusing, they also have privacy issues. What makes these changes even worse is the fact there is no way to customize the News Feed to display how *I* want it. Just because they or anyone makes a change to a product or service does not mean I have to like it.

Spirit Dave said,
Whhopppieee dooo .... Who cares? This isn't a genuine reaction. It's a typical "I hate change" reaction. The changes are for the better. If anyone thinks they're not, it's because they haven't used them, only SEEN them and blurted out "OMGZZZZ I HATE IT"

I have tried using it and I just find it confusing. An arbitrary number of posts at the top of my feed can be from any time period, then it changes to Chronological. If I leave it an hour, I come back and find the top of the feed is Chronological, the middle is random and the bottom is Chronological again. I find it hard to figure out when posts were made. All I want is for the "top posts" to have a big X beside them so I can close it and go back to chronological.

Right, so anyway... it's not really confusing at all if you ask me. Secondly, privacy issues aren't a concern. When they updated it, they popped up a ton of boxes explaining everything they'd done, INCLUDING Privacy changes. Making your account private is exceptionally easy. In fact, it's easier now than it was before.

Seriously ... I don't understand you lot. lol.

Mark.


OOps ... I mean ... Dave.

Edited by Eric, Sep 22 2011, 1:00pm :

@Spirit of Dave,

I saw what you posted before you deleted it, and it was (and still is) extremely rude.

If people use a product or service, they are more than entitled to voice their opinion when that product or service changes in a way that negatively affects their experience.

What Facebook have done would be FINE if it was optional, however (at least for now) it is not. I haven't complained about a single change on Facebook in the 3 or 4 years that I've been using it, but the new news feed is just frustrating and awkward.

And although Facebook has done a lot to improve privacy, saying that privacy issues are not a concern is like putting your head in the sand.

Neobond said,
I know, we're used to it at Neowin (Atlas > Pegasus change)
My only gripe with Pegasus is that the comments section in acticles is hard to read compared with the previous layout.

The new changes on Facebook are fine for me, except that I don't like that the Smarlists show the number of updates and invite clicking to make them disappear, even if you already saw those updates in the general newsfeed. That should make a setting to turn of the display of those numbers.

The Acquaintances groupd is a welcome change and the ability to share stuff with all my friends except this group is great.

This changes should make it easier to read updates for people that have hundreds of friends. I have around 200 and I like it more than I dislike it

@Spirit Dave, it's like you're bitching about others not liking mushrooms on a pizza man. Just because you may like it or not have a problem with it at least, doesn't mean others don't.

And there'd be no bitching if we could just pick them off, but in this case, we can't.

Furthermore, it seems they're pushing out more and more features, but don't seem concerned with the frequent annoyance everyone's been having with messages and the Facebook chat. Why don't they focus on the things that aren't working all too well?