We had intended to post about the Facebook changes last week, but well time ran away from us… So better late than never, here is our take on the changes to Facebook and what you need to know.
Subscribe Button: this feature allows you to really narrow down on who you hear from in your news feed. Before the subscribe feature, you essentially had to wade through all of the updates from all of those in your Facebook feed to find the information that you want. Now with Subscribe you can choose to “subscribe” to a person’s status updates – this allows you to guarantee for example that you’ll stay up-to-date with your best friend’s post, the status updates from your favourite coffee company or the latest headlines from a news agency. You can even streamline things further by choosing what you receive from those in your news feed: maybe you only want photo updates from one person and you want all status updates from another – the Subscribe button lets you narrow down and control this. To get the full scoop on the Subscribe button, see the Facebook help.
Timeline: essentially this is a way for you to beef up your profile and keep a log of your life – on Facebook. Your Timeline is just that – a timeline of your activity on Facebook. You can edit and customize it – adding in photos, updating it with key dates and moments. The idea is that because your status update is constantly being updated with the most recent update, the older information gets lost and “squeezed out”. Now with the Timeline, your complete history can be kept up-to-date. Take a look at this article about Timeline to learn more.
News Feed Changes: it used to be that we had two main choice for our news feed: Top News and Most Recent. These options no longer exist. Now instead your news feed is continually updated with the most recent news – so this means there is more traffic but the idea is that you’ll miss less content this way. The idea is that the more popular information will still be at the top of the list – think posts with photos and links. Really, this is a small change that doesn’t take too long to get used to.
Ticker: this is perhaps one of the more controversial changes to Facebook. In the right hand corner of your Facebook screen/window you’ll see a scrolling and constantly updated Ticker of all the most recent activity of everyone of your friends. So you’ll see if your friend John commented on someone’s status or clicked the Like link on a post. Already after only a few days, a lot of folks have a love-hate relationship with the Ticker. The good news is that you can hide the Ticker so that you’re not distracted by the activity of each and everyone in your Facebook. While you can’t close or hide the Ticker via Facebook, there are a few apps and hacks out there that will let you do so…
Lists: if you have a lot of friends on Facebook and follow a wide-range of folks, you might want to create Lists to filter Facebook updates. Facebook comes with a few lists automatically created for you: Close Friends, Acquaintances, and Restricted. Also based on your profile, the Facebook magicians will have created lists for you automatically: for example we had lists created based on our high school, previous employers, and place of residence. You can create as many lists as you want and customize them however you like. In a sense, these lists are very similar to the lists that most of us use on Twitter to keep track of different feeds. The List feature can be a bit complicated and Facebook does a help page devoted to the topic.
This is the quick-hit list of the high profile changes to Facebook. To read more about some of the other changes and to get a feel for what is coming up next, take a look at this article from Mashable.