By Janette Speyer and Alison Brown – Web Success Team
In this day in age, technology is constantly evolving. Everyday we are inundated with new features, new interfaces and improved designs that can sometimes make our head spin. Facebook is not exempt from this either, as it has undergone a lot of major transformations over the past several years. Just recently, Facebook has made some major modifications to its features, and whether you’re or a fan or not, they are here to stay.
Combined News Feed Layout
One feature that Facebook has changed is its news feed layout. Before, you had two feeds: your “Top News” and “Most Recent News,” depending on its relevance to your interests. Also, if you only checked Facebook occasionally, you wouldn’t see anything about activities that happened a week ago. Now, the most interesting stories will always be displayed at the top and you won’t have to worry about missing anything important.
Additionally, prior to this change, you had to scroll down quite a bit just to see what people posted the day before. If your business heavily relies on social media, then this may have been a little labor intensive. But now with the combined news feed, your news stories are more customizable and will save you time in the long run.
Ability to Subscribe to News
With Facebook’s new subscription feature, you get to control the information you see from friends or businesses. You can now subscribe to see all updates, most updates, or only important updates. Facebook’s blog explains that if you select to see all updates from someone, then you will see everything that person posts, if you select most updates, then you will see the same amount of posts that you are used to, and if you select important updates only, then Facebook will only show you important highlights once in awhile. This can be beneficial for businesses since you can now elect to see all posts from certain people. This can save you a lot of time since you won’t have to remember to check out various pages throughout the day— all the information you want to see will be automatically siphoned through your personal news feed.
Live News Ticker
This feature gives you real time updates from people as it happens live on the web. If your friend comments on someone else’s status, you get to see it right away. It gives you greater visibility as to what is happening all throughout your Facebook community, as opposed to just seeing major news stories that are featured in your news feed. If one of your friends likes another friend’s status that you aren’t friends with, you still get to see this activity without having to visit either of their pages. This can be helpful for businesses because now all your Facebook friends get to see your recent activity regardless if they visit your page or not. They always have the option to unsubscribe, but chances are, if they are friends with you, then they will want to see what you are posting or “liking.”
Improved “Smart” Lists for Friends
This enhancement can be compared to the “circles” feature that Google+ offers. On Google+, you can add people to various “circles” based on your relationship with them. If you are a business, you can separate people into various groups such as current clients, potential clients, or colleagues. That way, you can choose to share information with certain groups of people. Facebook now offers a similar feature that allows you to add people to various lists. While this feature existed before, Facebook now has several predetermined “smart lists” that were created by analyzing your profile and basing them on your work or educational history. Friends are automatically added to co-worker or family lists so that you don’t have to spend time manually adding them.
Will Facebook Ever Stay the Same?
With the “real time ticker” and transformed news feed, these new features have made Facebook a lot more complicated. Evolutionary features such as the ability to share pictures, update your status, and chat live with friends make it hard to remember what Facebook used to be like. While many people are unhappy about the recent changes, in the end, most of the enhancements will save us a lot of time. If time equals money, then this can only be a good thing. In just a short period of time we will all get used to the new features, and most of us will probably grow to love them. Though, it will probably happen just in time for it all to change, once again.
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