Insanely popular social network Facebook is in the throes of redesigning itself once again, rolling out a brand new look to users around the world. While you might have only just got used to revising the way their last update worked in order to see the activity feeds of all of your friends rather than a small handful, prepare yourself for something completely as the massive company that knows everything about you attempts to show you what you don’t know about people you do know.
Confused? You’re not the only one!
This latest change from Facebook has become as unpopular as all of their others, throwing people who were expecting to be able to easily find what they were looking for. It is also arguably causing people to abandon the service, although this is only hearsay and may only be temporary.
So: how do these changes work? How do you manage all of the new information that Facebook has decided that you need to know, several months after removing it from view?
How the Changes Work
First thing first; not everyone will have the new look Facebook at the same time, as it is being rolled out slowly across different groups of accounts. When you are upgraded, however, you won’t notice until you sign in. Facebook revealed just a few days ago that they would no longer be sending updates out about your friends and contacts, and this seems to cover information about upgrades as well.
Opening Facebook over the next few days will send you straight to your own feed. One thing you will notice is the top blue bar no longer has three buttons; you will now see a small thumbnail of your profile picture and your name, accompanied by a Home button. On your profile page you will be able to view info and photos as normal, and update your status and add photos as per the method introduced in summer 2011 (this includes choosing which users view your posts).
The real changes come when you hit the Home button…
Facebook’s Change to the News Feed
As with previous releases, you can still update your status via the news feed page, but the real changes come below and to the right of this.
First of all, you will see Top Stories Since Your Last Visit occupying space at the top of the page. This is intended to display conversations that you or friends are involved in that feature plenty of comments. However there doesn’t seem to be any obvious method for Facebook to choose these stories.
Further down the page, things go back to normal somewhat, with various news items listed as before. However you will notice that everything in the News Feed has two options in the top left and top right corners. In the top left corner a triangle can be clicked that will toggle the status of that story/story type as a top story or standard feed item. Meanwhile the top-right corner of each feed item features a drop-down menu, from where you can alter how news items from certain individuals are displayed.
You might be able to cope with these changes, but the real revision appears in the top-right corner of the Facebook page itself, where you will find a new feed that constantly updates with activity of all of your friends – stuff they like, post, comment on, groups they’re part of and new friend updates.
In fact, it’s largely stuff that Facebook has been hiding for the past few months! All you need to do is roll your mouse over the feed item to check the facts about the update and see who else has commented (or leave a comment yourself).
Facebook has introduced a big change. However, a bigger change is still to come…