Facebook Tests Changes To The News Feeds With More Possibly Coming
Well it has been a fun weekend with Facebook as they seem to like to test new features then and it caused Pages and users grief. They also have some possible changes coming that users will not like at all especially the gamers.
The test feature they tried once again was the grouping of news feeds based on key words. This is something that was driving Page owners & users completely bonkers because no one could find what they were looking for.
Here is what they tried. If a post was made by a page or user and it had a key word on Facebook’s list it would clump all the posts together making it so the individual posts were not fully visible unless you clicked the see more button, which is fine if you knew what you were looking for. The problem with this is if News pages posted a story about something and it had the “Special Key Word” as I call it and you didn’t know it you missed the story. You would actually have to go to that page to see what was happening and what news they were posting.
Which is all fine and dandy if they are trying to drive traffic to the pages BUT what if you didn’t know there was breaking news or important info that you needed to know. You would just assume nothing was happening and all was well and in this day and age most Facebook users are now using the site to keep up with the world by reading the feeds. So this test was a huge failure but also had some good parts.
Let me give you a couple of examples of what they did. This is the failure part. Lets say a couple of news site were talking about food and had word in the title and most were fluff stories well they would all be clumped together into one big feed. Now here lies the problem with this what if there was a food recall and it was in title well that post would be buried in with the rest of the fluff posts. So the users missed out out on some very valuable/ urgent information that may of affected them and their family.
While yes you can argue they should be checking their local TV news programs for this kind of info but in the world today a majority of people use Facebook as their main source of news so this is it for them. I know kinda sad but this is the worlds reality.
Now here is the good part but bad for script makers. The game feeds were also being lumped together but this is not too bad. The feeds got lumped together by key word too but if you were looking for feeds that gave gifts then you were able to find them all in one spot or if you were looking for ices in Mafia Wars they were all together sort of. They would take the word from the post like ICED, Freezer Burn etc… and clump them together. This caused grief for some people who use scripts to, so call, scrub the walls for all the bonuses they can get as some would catch them all and this left the script makers trying to fix a fix for users. But it was good for the casual gamer who were able to find things easier instead of having to scroll down a whole page to find things which can be a headache if they have alot of friends.
So it was good and bad overall I think this is a feature they can scrap. If they are looking for ways to make the feeds cleaner for users they remove the game feeds from the most recent and leave them in the filtered gamed feeds. That would make people happy but it looks like that wont be happening because of this next thing possibly coming.
Facebook is thinking of removing the option to filter your news feed. Now this is the dumbest thing I have heard coming from them and also the greediest one. But according to the Wall Street Journal & Tom’s Guide this may become a reality and it was also confirmed by a Facebook spokesperson.
If Facebook does decide to do this that would mean you would never be able to find anything on your Home Page as it will be littered with everything Game feeds, ads from pages, you name it it will be there. Imagine all the chaos of having all those feeds you took the time to hide becoming unhid and back in your feeds. Now I know I post alot and I don’t blame users for hiding my posts but I wouldn’t want my posts forced upon you. It is your right to hide what you don’t want to see and besides most people who do hide my posts do at least drop by my fan page to see the latest news so my page is still getting traffic.
Why is Facebook think of doing this? Because the developers and marketers want you to see them and use their apps and buy their products. The only way to possible gain back your home page will be to either delete the app, game, page or person so you dont see it anymore. Not to mention the number of pages and apps that will be reported to Facebook as spammers when in fact the person did join the page or app agreed to get the updates in the news feeds. So maybe this is to weed out the crap but innocent pages and apps will be caught in this.
Bottomline here is that both of these changes are useless and not wanted by the users who do support the site. It almost seems like Google+ has taken the reins at Facebook are trying to kill it so they become the top site. Facebook is becoming more like a Craig’s List or in this case a Zuck’s List than a social site. Maybe this is why so many people are hoping for Google to succeed so they can get away from this and all the privacy issues. Lets hope they come to their senses and don’t do this.