Last week Facebook changes were rampant and applied to what seems like everything under the sun. Then they had their annual conference, f8, and released more new features. I wanted to give you an update as to the new features and what they mean to you.

  1. Top Stories & Most Recent News Combined. Facebook said, “When you visit Facebook, you should see the things you’re most interested in…”. If you haven’t visited Facebook for a while, the first things you’ll see are top photos and status updates posted while you’ve been away. They’re marked with an easy-to-spot blue corner. You can make adjustments to what is important to you, or not by touching the corner and giving them filtering help.
  2. Ticker. This is News Feed lite and it’s in the upper right hand corner of your screen. It’s designed so that you can see what’s occurring *now* in your network without having to leave your current location. This contains less important items as well as duplication to your main feed. It’s going to take us all some time to get used to it, I know.
  3. Subscribe Button. This is an optional feature. Subscribers see public information. Friends see your more private posts. If you are already friends with someone, you will see their subscribe button and it will show you are already subscribed because you are friends. Why would you want this? A well known organization like The Press Democrat has a Page, which is public. But Bruce Kyse, the publisher,  has a personal Profile. He may want to turn on the subscribe feature so that people can find out a more personal view of what’s happening at their local paper rather than just the headlines that appear in print and on the FB Page. Bruce can keep his friends close but subscribers can also be a part of his world. This is a nice halfway spot between personal Profiles and public Pages. Remember, you can only have 5000 friends so Bruce might really want that new feature.**You can also filter the information you receive from your friends via this subscribe button. So those that spend too much time playing games, you can filter that out! Sweet.
  4. Timeline. This is the new Profile. It’s a literal timeline of your information. It will take some adjusting for you to get used to but don’t think you have long. As of Oct. 1, you will be forced to adopt the new format. Ready? Here’s how to get the new timeline in 5 minutes. I waited 6 days to convert my own because I prefer to not adopt a new form of technology at the very beginning. I know that the bleeding edge finds many of the problems and bugs and shields me from much of that pain. So I took screenshots as I converted my profile. See My Facebook Profile Conversion to New Timeline Format photo album. I actually like the Timeline much better than the new News Feed. If you are a business owner with a Page, expect that the Timeline will be coming to your Page soon. How to make sure your content is still visible? Post every other day, keep it real, and post interesting content. Think like your audience and post good stuff. You’ll be okay.
  5. Friend Lists. This really isn’t a huge change. If you didn’t use lists before, you probably won’t now but the difference is Facebook auto sorted them for you. Go in check out the lists, sort and rename if you choose. It allows for a more focused viewing of your network.
  6. Open Social Graph, Apps with Ticker integration. This has room for the overshare. There are several applications that will show your network what you are doing, listening, or reading. Look for Spotify for music, Hulu for TV and so on. They are calling this “verbing”. You can alter your settings with every application you use. Never fear. You actually have more control now than you did before.
  7. You can now claim your custom URL with less than 25 fans. The requirement was once 1000 fans, then 100, then 25, now it’s 1+. Why do you want this? See this blog I wrote What’s in a Facebook Name? and why you should go get one now.
  8. Status Updates. The limit was 500. Now it’s 5000! It’s now a mini-blog.
  9. Photo Tagging. There have been quite a few changes with tagging lately. Rather than go through them all (see Facebook’s Help Center on the matter), I wanted you to be aware of my favorite new feature. When you remove your name/tag from a photo, you have quite a few options including: Remove tag, Ask poster to take the photo down, and Block poster. It’s awesome.
Rumors that have been floating around:
  1. Cost. Facebook has committed to never charging for the service. This rumor pops up every six months or so. Facebook keeps assuring us it’s untrue.
  2. Unsubscribing from your friends comments and likes. What Facebook says, “Please note that unsubscribing from a friend’s ‘comments and likes’ in your News Feed, does not have any impact on whether your friends see it when you comment on or like their posts.”
2 replies
  1. A.McTigue
    A.McTigue says:

    Kerry, thanks for this summary. I have read a lot about the new format. I have not experienced it. I’m an adapter and an adopter, so I’m sure all will be well. But I’m worried that I’m going to lose some qualities that have made Facebook work for me. Facebook is a place for me. A public place. A place to meet and gab. It’s not the Amanda Museum. It’s not a magazine. It’s not an ad board. Its value lay in more serendipity, less planning. Of course, “managing” the flood of what can flow through such a place is way beyond my pay grade or ken. But what I want maintained is a sense of openness and flow-through. It’s not about me-me-me for me. That’s what a website is. That’s what a blog is. It’s about Who’s here? What’s going on? What have I missed? What am I not looking at that I might want to look at? Whom have I forgotten?

    • Kerry Rego
      Kerry Rego says:

      Amanda, you are quite welcome. I’m analyzing data right now and am worried about the ramifications these changes will have for businesses more so than people. The new Newsfeed is bisected and I think will be tough for most people to adapt to. It’s hard to pay attention to two different streams of content at the same time. I guess only time will tell. But I use it similarly to the way you do. I want to see what’s there and make my own choices. I want to see everyone. Now I feel cheated out of my own choice.


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