Users made a big stink about the Facebook news ticker, that annoying, constantly updating feed in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. Facebook responded. Now some users have the option to hide the ticker. This is good news for people who prefer to use the news feed and would like to avoid noisier information about which links their friends “like,” what friends are listening to on Spotify and who is now friends with whom. Teenagers spoke up about the news ticker, calling it the “stalker feed” and insisting that it provided too much information.
The news ticker debuted before Facebook launched Timeline. Perhaps that was part of the user pushback on it, another part being the fact that many of the same stories appeared in both the news feed and the news ticker.
Seeing interesting music selections from friends pop up on the news tick make it easier to discover new music. That is a very different experience than seeing annoying updates about which links friends have “liked” or commented on. Publishing activity from open graph apps – such as “watch,” “run,” shop,” “cook” – to the news ticker makes a lot more sense than seeing the mundane moves of your friends. In the meantime, if you’re one of the lucky users, you can now hide your ticker.