What’s Up With All the Facebook Uproar?

October 27, 2009 at 8:34 pm 2 comments

What happened to Facebook?

As a Facebook user, I’m quite confused because there seems to be no consistency: you just never know when you’ll land on the Live Feed vs the News Feed. Upon logging in, I have quickly learned to immediately check which feed I’m on. The same thing applies whenever I click on the “Home Page.” As Forrest Gump puts it, “Life is like a box of chocolates. Ya never know what you’re gonna get.” In my opinion, it’s just a “big change” for a “big crowd” with little or no warning. I never saw the change-is-coming-and-why warning myself until Facebook gave me an unpleasant surprise last Friday.

Personally, it wouldn’t be so bad if:
a) Facebook kept the home page as what it used to be, which is in essence today’s “Live Feed”
b) Facebook kept the “Highlights” section on the home page so we can still have a quick glimpse of what our friends find interesting (as it used to be) without having to click on another page
c) Facebook just added the “News Feed” as a supplemental means to “catch up” vs positioning it as a “great replacement”.

Replacing the “Highlights” section with a completely new page, the “News Feed”, is a surefire way to get unthankful subscribers. Why fix something that’s not broken? Why would you even attempt to suddenly change behavior when there seems to be no reward? While Facebook thinks that the change would be helpful, I have yet to hear a positive comment regarding this sudden change.

In my humble opinion, I don’t believe Facebook users would’ve made such an uproar if:
a) Facebook used the approach outlined above
b) Facebook “socialized” the upcoming change–need I say, “Change Management” crash course?

The larger your subscriber base, the harder it is to implement and socialize change…and it takes a whole lot longer to fix any damages–whatever they may be–especially as complaints and sentiments can easily go viral nowadays (also with Facebook’s help).

Perhaps if Facebook followed the above recommendations and then monitored and evaluated the impact of simply “adding” the “News Feed”, they’d have a better picture of the following (among many other valuable things):
a) How many users are no longer using the “Highlights” section as a result of the “News Feed” addition? How did this addition change behavior?
b) What kind of comments (positive or negative) are coming in as a result of the change? (Isn’t social media all about listening and engaging?)
c) With the information that’s been collected, is there a need to get rid of the “Highlights” section? Is there a need to keep the “News Feed” addition? Is there a need to make improvements to either of these sections? What would be the impact of our actions?

Sometimes, I wonder if Facebook has a Public Relations office. The average Facebook user probably doesn’t even know a that a Facebook blog existed. How does Facebook communicate to its users? How can users tell Facebook what they think about this change? In case you’re wondering, here is the blog that went out on Friday, October 23rd: “New Views For Your Home Page” I guess the best way to keep up with Facebook is to “become a Fan”. Do we really want to “become a Fan” of Facebook right now?

These are but my “basic” sentiments on the Facebook user side. I have even more sentiments to share as a Facebook Fan Page Administrator. These changes have totally suppressed virality; I’m afraid it will affect the pace at which we acquire new fans (if it hasn’t done so already). I’ll be blogging about this shortly.

So Facebook, “What’s on your mind?” No more unpleasant surprises, please.

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Entry filed under: Social Media. Tags: , , , .

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