Every once in a while, the world is stirred by new Facebook changes. The most recent changes however, has stirred Facebook users more than ever before. Over half of the respondents in a recent USA TODAY/Gallup Poll said they didn’t like the new Facebook changes —although the main trend seems to be the more one uses Facebook, the less concerned one becomes with new Facebook changes. Here is the lowdown on some of them:
Replacing the previous profile page, the Timeline is the most noticeable change of all—and also the most controversial, because of potential privacy issues. Unlike most timelines, Facebook’s Timeline is vertical, with events starting with your birth at the bottom going up. You can add other life events (marriage, engagement, etc) to it. The top—where you’d expect your profile picture to be—is dominated by a huge 720 x 314 pixel ‘cover’ photo you can customize to complement your profile picture, intersecting the cover photo’s lower left.
On the timeline are callouts enclosing various events, likes, comments, photos, links you posted since you joined Facebook. You can control what callouts appear on the timeline and who sees them. On the timeline, apps you’ve approved—even if only once—automatically show the world what you are doing or where you are. Your timeline updates are godsend for advertisers, burglars, stalkers, or jealous husbands.
It’s at the right side of your ‘Home’ page, above the chat box. The ticker is a real-time update of what you and your friends are doing—commenting, liking, befriending, reading or listening to—which you can respond to with several responses other than comment or like, through popup callouts when you hover your cursor over them. The ticker is a potential annoyance because, currently, the only way to turn off what your friends see about you in their own tickers is to request them to uncheck options on what they can see about you.
Imagine for those of us with 5,000 friends, this becomes hard to manage. The ticker is an advertiser’s dream-come-true. Tickers, like the timeline, are not yet activated for everybody. It randomly appears in some Facebook accounts, not in others.
In an early version, top stories used to appear in an area above recent stories. But people complained they kept missing the most recent stories because of top stories. Now top stories appear mixed with more recent stories but are distinguished by a blue ear tag on the upper left. You can use this tag to unmark top stories so they won’t be top stories anymore (similar news will not be posted as top stories later). The idea is Facebook can ‘learn’ which posts matter to you—and adjust the posts accordingly.
Lists – smart and not-so-smart
Facebook now automatically guesses which default category your newly-approved ‘friend’ belongs in, with the option to tag as ‘friend’ or an ‘acquaintance.’ These lists have also become more Google+ circle-like.
Before: People used lists to block friends from showing up in their feeds
After: They allow you to pick who to share your feeds with
Others Facebook Changes
Photos – The photo thumbnails for your uploaded photos are now bigger and arranged in a Mondrian-like way
Subscribe button – For showing public posts of people you follow—even if you’re not friends
You’ll be seeing these Facebook changes shortly if you haven’t already, with more expected to occur. It seems all of these changes has made it easier for anybody to track you and your habits.
Anything I missed? Let me know in the comments below.