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Despite many registering their ‘dislike’, the social network’s new features are here to stay.


WHEN Facebook revamped many of its most heavily used features lately, millions of users were not exactly happy. For days, the hashtag #newFacebook on Twitter was a litany of complaints: the new features were too busy, too complicated, too ”un-Facebook”.

But the changes – which chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook brains trust see as the most important since the addition of games and other software apps in 2007 – are not going away. Perhaps the biggest innovation, a feature called Timeline, which Zuckerberg calls ”the story of your life”, isn’t even officially available yet.

Facebook is taking the main feature people use to keep up with the activities of their friends and splitting it into two: Ticker and News Feed.

The significant addition is Ticker, a virtually unfiltered, automatically updating stream of the actions of your friends. Ticker, which scrolls down the upper right side of the home page, is supposed to provide a real-time sense of what your friends, and the brands and businesses you like, are doing at any moment.

By clicking a Ticker item, you can join in instantly – from sending a happy birthday wish, to friending someone your friend is friending, to listening to the new Wilco album through the Spotify app.

The stream of Stories that runs down the centre of the home page is still there but it has been changed.

Since it was launched five years ago, News Feed has been a primary way people keep track of their friends. ”[It] is the lifeblood of Facebook,” says Meredith Chin, a communications manager for the company.

You used to be able to toggle back and forth between Top Stories, the posts Facebook’s algorithms judged most interesting to you, and Most Recent, the freshest content. Now, there is one News Feed with the content Facebook judges to be most interesting based on your interests and social connections.

Relationships on Facebook used to be two-way connections; both parties had to agree. Now the Subscribe button allows you to create one-way relationships with anyone, just like Twitter.

Celebrities or leading business figures on Facebook are unlikely to agree to friend requests from millions of fans. But by visiting their profile pages and clicking Subscribe, every post publicly shows up on a News Feed. Existing friends are automatically subscribed to each other but the feature allows you to adjust whether you want to see all their posts, some of them or only the most important ones – useful for people you don’t dislike enough to unfriend but who share too much.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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