I don’t know about you, but personally, I have been frustrated for at least one year with what seems like constant changes to Facebook’s interface. Once I get comfortable with the newest changes, the site changes again. Like most people, I am very busy and don’t have time to “relearn” how to navigate this site. It goes along with my frustration of having to relearn Microsoft’s latest software programs. I understand the need for improvements, but it seems to me that things don’t necessarily get improved and it becomes just another excuse to change things just for the sake of changing them. I guess some people need to justify their jobs. Please make it stop!
I must not be alone, because excerpts from the following msnbc article show other users feel the same.
Every year or so — and sometimes more often — Facebook manages to miff a vocal percentage of users by changing the look and feel of its site. As it adds new features, it invariably takes away things that people have grown attached to. It’s no different with the changes unveiled this week. Some have already gone live while others will be coming to your Facebook page soon.
Here are some questions and answers on Facebook’s latest transformation.
Q: Why does Facebook keep changing things? I liked it the way it was.
A: At its heart, Facebook is a technology company that wants to keep improving its products so that people keep using it and it doesn’t grow stale. Sometimes, the changes are things people ask for. Other times, engineers try to anticipate new ways people will want to use Facebook. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. Facebook also tends to change its site so that it encourages users to share and interact more, whether that’s with each other or with businesses, public figures and the like. This has often raised concern among privacy advocates.
Q: What is the scrolling, Twitter-like list of my Facebook friends’ activities doing on the right side of the new layout?
A: Facebook calls this the “ticker” — not to be confused with, but similar to, Twitter. The idea is to show a live feed of everything going on with your Facebook friends and pages you follow as it is happening. There will be information here that doesn’t appear on your regular news feed, such as songs your friends are listening to on the music service Spotify, news stories they are reading or, eventually, even movies or TV shows they watched on Netflix.
OK, maybe I am rude, but I don’t need to know what my friends are doing in “real time.” Seriously, am I the only one who doesn’t have all this free time to spend monitoring the activities of others? In turn, I seriously doubt that anyone cares what I am doing in real time either.
Q: Does Facebook care about angering its users with the changes?
A: Facebook has said in the past that the percentage of users who complain about its changes is small. But a small percentage of 800 million users is still a big group. And even with angry users taking to social media to complain, the growth of Facebook’s user base, not to mention how much people are sharing on the site and beyond, is growing at a staggering pace. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday Facebook passed a milestone recently where it had 500 million of its users logged in at once. So while a lot of users may hate the changes, it is not driving them away. The company is betting it knows what people want.
Read more Q&A’s@ msnbc