Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 75 - Have you noticed what's new about Facebook?

Just over a week ago, Facebook rolled out more changes to its home page that they feel will simplify the Facebook experience by giving you two different ways to view your Home Page News Feed. You’re now able to switch between a summary view (News Feed) and a real-time view (Live Feed). The links show up just above the “What’s on your mind?” box in the center of your screen.

News Feed
When you log into Facebook, you see the most interesting things that happened in the last day in the “News Feed” view. News Feed picks stories that FB thinks you’ll enjoy based on a variety of factors including
how many friends have liked and commented on them and how likely you are to interact with that story.

Live Feed
Once you’ve caught up on what you missed, you can then click over to the “Live Feed” to see what’s happening in the moment. As long as you remain logged into Facebook, you continue to see posts and activity from all your friends in real-time. You can edit what appears to you in this view by clicking on “Edit Options” at the bottom of the home page.

Facebook decided to make these changes after receiving feedback about all the home page changes they made back in March. With this latest change, Facebook is moving what you used to see in the Highlights section on the right hand side of your screen back into the News Feed. As a refresher, here’s what you’ll find noted in your News Feed:

  • anytime your friends are tagged in photos
  • when a friend becomes a Fan of a Page
  • when one RSVPs to an event
  • or joins a group
  • when your friends make new friends

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Facebook has also made birthdays and events a little easier to see in the right column of the home page. Facebook says it put a lot of thought into these changes to the site and did a lot of testing before releasing anything. They gather feedback by reading emails from users and testing new ideas with small groups of users. After every change, they continue to gather feedback and refine.

I am inclined to think that these recent changes have much more to do with e-commerce than our convenience. When someone sees that a friend has become a Fan of a Page, RSVP’d for an event or joined a group, they are also more likely to click on that page/event/group link and check it out. The goal is clearly to increase the viral growth of these items, many of which are corporate sponsored. In other words, this will be good for businesses that have Fan Pages and Groups. The one thing marketers need to remember is that if they want their content classified as ‘most interesting’ and placed into our News Feed, then they need to provide great content that engages us and makes us want to click the comment or “like” buttons.

Here’s to change - again!
What do you think about the Facebook re-design?

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