Facebook Takes a Few Steps Back: Adjustments to Their Changes

By Carrie Tylawsky

Lately Facebook just can’t seem to get enough of coming out with new changes and updates. After f8 there was a storm of news about what timeline means, how the Facebook algorithm will be altered, and what this would all mean for brands. Now, in an often unseen move on Facebook’s end, they are reverting back to some older standards. Two of the most important aspects of user interface and experience- privacy and newsfeed, are getting a lot of attention these days.

Facebook privacy settings: In 2010, Facebook stirred up a lot of contention when it was announced that all privacy settings were “opt out”, meaning users had to go into their privacy settings to adjust what was shared and who could see it. Now, due to a near complete settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, Facebook will be reversing these changes to make all privacy settings “opt in”. Now everything you share on Facebook will remain within the audience you selected, unless the user opts in to having Facebook use the information. What do these changes mean to the average user? Hopefully to most, increased security and comfort in knowing where your information is and what it’s being used for.

Newsfeed: Currently the Facebook newsfeed is set up with top stories first, most recent stories afterwards. When users would sign into Facebook, they would be automatically fed the most liked, commented on, shared stories of the day and then gradually scroll down to see what else was new. As it stands today, that top spot is something that brands and companies can compete for with highly shareable content. Now, Facebook is bringing back most recent stories on top. Essentially what this means is that users can opt-out of seeing those highly popular updates in favor of seeing what is happening on Facebook chronologically, similar to a Twitter stream. It leaves me wondering- will it become increasingly pertinent for pages looking to spread a message to update their status more than one to two times a day?

What do you think about Facebook’s new adjustments? Share with a comment below!