SluggoBear (sluggobear) wrote,

About the new Facebook layout: some very interesting tidbits

A lot of people are up in arms about the new Facebook home page layout, but I actually think it was a smart business move. The new default view is intended partly to address the ever-growing problem of information overload. In an age where we're being bombarded with more e-mail, more tweets and more information 24/7, the abridged view is actually something we should embrace, especially for those of us who have a lot of Facebook friends. (It can be a challenge to keep-up!) So now, Facebook is able to intelligently select the most relevant recent updates and bubble them up to the top for easy consumption. The following articles explain this well:

As an aside, a Facebook friend of mine posted on his wall today: "Soon there will be another FB release and you'll all be wanting THIS layout back." So true. A lot of times we resist change, without even understanding why the change is being implemented. I'd like to commend whoever created the group "I AUTOMATICALLY HATE THE NEW FACEBOOK HOME PAGE."

A lot of people are asking: what's the difference between "News Feed" and "Live Feed?" Here's the deal: the News Feed is an abridged collection of recent updates... a sampling of the most interesting things that have happened recently. They are NOT in chronological order; Facebook is going to try to make an educated guess and show you the highlights that are most interesting and relevant to you. By contrast, the Live Feed is a complete list of all your friends' updates, simply displayed in reverse chronological order.

I'm a little disappointed to see that Facebook hasn't done a better job of explaining the difference. They could've added a little question mark icon, or a "What's the difference" link to their (actually quite useful) help page on the subject, which you can find here:

It's important to note that the Live Feed defaults to show updates from up to 250 of your Facebook friends. If you are hell-bent on reading every update for all your friends, you may want to change this. To do this, switch to Live Feed, scroll to the bottom and click "Edit Options." Change the value in the "Number of Friends" section to the number you'd like to see; the maximum is 5,000.

I've seen a flurry of posts suggesting that people drag the "Status Updates" to the top of their Facebook navigation. I do NOT suggest doing this, because then you will ONLY see status updates. You won't see your friends' photos, videos, notes, or application updates.

By the way, I did some basic testing today, and it appears that once you switch to Live Feed, the setting is "sticky;" that is, it will stay that way the next time you logon. (I'd be interested to hear from people who have seen it behave otherwise.)

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