The New Facebook: Love It or Hate It?

BlogHer Original Post

I received an email from Catherine asking if I was on Google+ because she's moving all of her work friends out of her Facebook account and reserving it solely for family and close friends. I completely understood, though I'm not on Google+, a victim of social media overload and unable to balance maintaining one more profile.

"I HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE this latest update! I HATE the ticker thing and I HATE that I can't manage my own news feed to just show most recent posts. I'm not interested in seeing a popularity contest between my fb friends, but apparently I'm not going to have a choice," Catherine wrote.

I know new is often met with contempt -- very few people roll with change -- but the new Facebook feed goes beyond dislike for many people. It steps over a line of control, removing it from the user and placing it in the hands of an algorithm. It steps over a line of privacy, revealing information in real-time. People are so focused on those changes that few are talking about new ideas such as the Open Graph which will allow you to never, ever leave Facebook again except to... perhaps... pee. You will be able to watch shows, listen to music, read the newspaper -- all from Facebook.

Maybe it's just me, but it's starting to sound and feel a bit more like a funhouse than a social network. It's confusing and things seem elongated or shrunken down depending on where you're looking. And just as the funhouse purposefully conceals the exit, it sounds as if Facebook is discreetly tucking away the exit sign and challenging the user to find it. Perhaps I will make my new horizontal photo header (called a "cover") a picture of a blood-chilling clown standing next to carnival mirrors.

Some, such as Liz Gannes, sound practically peaceful with all the changes, trying to see the positive. But All Facebook, an unofficial Facebook blog, is reporting that people hate the changes, 5:1.

Ziddi Tamana says: "I’m starting to hate Facebook! There. I’ve said it. Is anyone else sick of Facebook messing with our privacy settings? Or how about changing the look and feel of the site? Better yet, making the change and then not providing proper troubleshoot options?"

Evelyn's Thoughts says it best when she points out that she knows better than Facebook designers what she wants on her profile page.

One thing I hate is that it takes away the power of feeling that I own my page, we are constantly reminded that some top engineers own our pages and they decide how they want 'my profile' to look like over night, - I mean come on! It is like telling me, I hate the dress you have on, am gonna change it for you right now!

Catherine posted on her Wall:

Once I'm done complaining, I'm going right over to my new Google+ account to have some fun. I'll keep my fb account, but I won't be using it nearly as often. And I definitely won't be checking my news feed to see what facebook thinks is important to me...Cause "NEWS FLASH facebook" ...YOU DON'T KNOW.

Are you feeling the same way? Love the new changes? Wish they would stop fiddling with the privacy settings or way the site is used?

Photo Credit: © Frank May/DPA/

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.


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