Anyone on Facebook is probably tired of hearing about the new changes. For me, at least, they’ve been all over my Timeline, er, News Feed. Facebook makes changes to itself all the time, much to the chagrin of most of its users, though I’ve generally been fairly receptive to them. This time, though, all I can do is sigh.

There’s been a much-ballyhooed arguement against letting Facebook turn into the social networking site that it dethroned: MySpace. MySpace, by allowing users to recode their HTML, spawned some incredibly unattractive pages, most of which share the curse of a cluttered and static background image that makes the dynamic text boxes almost unreadable. While the applications that Facebook added pushed it in MySpace’s general direction slightly, their updates (the “New Facebook”) restored much of the site’s clean look.

What was ignored, however, was Facebook’s shift towards the third largest social networking site: Twitter. I’ve already said quite a bit about how I don’t like that site, particularly, so it’s upsetting to see Facebook, a service I do use, to emulate it.

The “new” thing about this iteration of Facebook is the News Feed. Whereas it was once an amalgamated stream of everything your friends were doing, the main page is now devoted to status updates (and wall-posts, to a significantly smaller extent). Dion Rodriguez did a comparison of Twitter’s Timeline and the new Facebook News Feed, and found more similarities than I’m comfortable with.

The old news feed had its power from its variety. While Twitter and others could share streams of status updates, and such, Facebook was able to integrate all of its other media pieces into their feed. Photos and video were amalgamated into the same stream, giving users a real reason to use that site, instead of another. Now, while photos and other media are still viewable (you have to navigate to them), they’re segregated. In a system where convergence is king, it seems like a step backwards to split them all up.

I can see what happened. Facebook executives probably saw Twitter’s meteoric rise in popularity, and wanted to stop it. What better way to keep users from leaving for a different interface than to adopt that interface themselves? However exponential the growth of Twitter, though, they still only have around 6 million users. No paltry number, but it is completely and utterly dwarfed by Facebook’s 200 million. So while some users will welcome the change, the vast majority will be left wondering why it’s suddenly so hard to navigate the site.

Of course, users will get used to it– they always do. Sadly, I find that I just don’t get as much out of looking at my Facebook homepage anymore. I’ve said it before: status updates just aren’t terribly thrilling to me. Will this change actually alienate me from the site? I don’t know. At the very least, I still use it for Scrabble.


I’m not excited by the events of today, but this first track is a bit more upbeat.

I’ve hardly found a Jackson 5 mashup that I haven’t liked, and this second track continues the trend.

This final track is a very basic construction, but it’s wonderful.


3 responses to “Twacebook?

  1. Scrabble? Really??

  2. It’s always disconcerting when you realize that a company you’re a patron of cares more about success of the company and hedging their bets then individuals who support it.

    I didn’t like twitter either, still don’t, and if I did, then I wouldn’t be on facebook anyways so I wouldn’t care if they changed. It seems like they’re taking advantage of the fact that people complain more then they actually change their behavior. Long story short I think people will keep complaining and still use facebook and they probably will gain a small margin of users who prefer a twitter type format. Facebook wins, and users will have to deal temporary frustration.

    Sighing in solidarity

  3. i luv status updates.

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