reported last week, Facebook's users clearly disliked the latest updates to their homepages, and now, Facebook is giving in to pressure from its most vocal users. According to Facebook, its users were especially unhappy with the lack of filtering mechanisms for the news stream on their homepages, and yesterday, Facebook's Chris Cox announced that the company plans to tweak the current design in order to give users greater control over what updates appear in the news stream.As we
Besides reducing the application content in the stream, Facebook will also introduce automatic updates of the feed, so that users won't have to reload the page. Given how much Facebook pushed the idea that the stream was 'real-time,' we always wondered why this feature wasn't part of the original design.
Facebook also plans to introduce features that will filter out wall posts and other content that is directed to specific users, in order to make way for more content that was explicitly meant to be shared with others.
About 1.2 million users have now voiced their disapproval of the new homepage through this unofficial poll (only 80,000 left positive feedback). This also means, however, that an overwhelming number of Facebook's over 175 million users didn't register any opinion yet.
Will These Tweaks Help?
If Facebook were indeed a democracy, one million votes would barely register, and Facebook's users have always had a propensity for complaining about any change to their beloved service. Still, it would be hard for Facebook to just simply ignore a million irate users, though it seems like Facebook is not ready to completely backpedal and bring back the original design - instead, it is actually adding more functionality to the updated homepages.
Cox's post on the Facebook blog also doesn't address some of the main issues users had with the new design. In reading through most of the earlier feedback, we didn't see anybody who was looking for auto updates of the feed or minor tweaks to the interface - instead, most users simply wanted the old layout back.
What Should Facebook Do?
Facebook obviously has no interest in upsetting its users, but we will have to wait and see if the tweaks that Cox announced yesterday will be enough to appease those users who passionately dislike the new design. The current feedback is not exactly encouraging in this respect