Yes, here we go folks. Another site overhaul with Facebook and there are comments flying! As with previous sitewide changes, the questions, comments, and complaints will lessen as people learn to use the new functions. I went ahead and looked at the changes and have broken them down. I’ll show you what moved where and how to use and make sense of the new changes.
First, the most important thing: Where did the poke button go?
To initiate a poke, go on your friend’s profile. Look for the little wheel-looking icon up near the top. Click that and then select poke.
When you are poked back, the notification shows up in the right side of your home view, much like it used to.
The Ticker Feed
Alright, I’ve already seen this dubbed the Stalker Feed. But I’d like to remind people that for months there have been complaints that FB is “hiding” your notifications and you wanted to see everything, not just what they thought you wanted to see. So…ta daaaaaa…now you get to see EVERYTHING. A bit much, no? Exactly. It’s dizzying to watch the speed of that thing.
My advice? If it bugs you, just train your eyes to not see it. We already collectively tend to “tune out” sections of websites (usually where the ads go…shhhhhh). So over time, my guess is it won’t be a bother (if you are one of the people who really don’t like it). Right now there isn’t a way to turn the ticker off, word is that might be an option we are given.
What exactly is the “ticker”?
It’s a real-time feed of absolutely every action your friends are taking on FB. Much the same way these notifications were on the news feed (once upon a time) and then moved to just being actions that posted on the profile wall. This activity has now been aggregated into it’s own separate real-time feed.
The ticker feed is only viewable on the home page. It has a locked navigation, meaning, that as you scroll up and down on your home page, the ticker feed moves with you and stays visible.
Something cool with the ticker
You can hover over any activity on the ticker and the ability to make a comment or click like can be done right there. So as all of this stuff is buzzing by, if something catches your eye, you can click it and comment right there.
People have questioned why they are seeing notices of activity their friends are making with people THEY aren’t friends with. Well, it’s because it’s still an action YOUR friend took. Now, if you can click on the notification and see it, it’s because that other person (the one you aren’t friends with) doesn’t have their privacy settings totally locked down.
If you don’t want the actions your friends make with you to go on non-friends tickers, I suggest you visit your account privacy settings. The link to your account settings is now slightly hidden, click the triangle next to the Home link in the upper right corner.
One thing to note…there is not currently a setting related directly to the ticker feed. My best advice if you are concerned about links to your page getting on the ticker feed of people you don’t know, lock your privacy settings down so that under How You Connect, everything is set to Friends only.
The Revamped News Feed
The news feed is a big change. We no longer have the toggle at the top between Top News and Most Recent. The two types of stories are now blended into one feed. And, I agree, at first glance it does look convoluted and unclear about what exactly you are seeing.
This is one place where having the lists Close Friends and Acquaintances (and other smart lists) populated will help prioritize what information is seen on your feed. Click the link to read the tutorial about how to use that feature.
Stories that Facebook thinks you’d consider your Top News are now highlighted with a blue triangle in the corner. These are the stories, based on your list settings as well as the items with the most activity, that FB considers important to you.
Something cool about the new Top News
You can now click to make any story a Top News story. Why would you want to do this? Well, say there is an interesting dialogue unfolding or something you want to be able to go back to. Click on the upper left section of that story to designate as “top news”. This way, FB will feature that link for you longer.
The same holds true for something that was earmarked as top news but it’s really a story you don’t find important. You can un-designate it as top news by clicking on the left corner. By “un-top-newsing” a story, it is telling FB things you don’t want to see highlighted…which eventually makes the algorithm work SMARTER for you.
This is cool because you now have more influence over YOUR top stories…not just what FB thinks will be important to you.
Recent stories are still things that show up on your feed in reverse chronological order. There is a subtle gray header bar that separates a group of Recent Stories from Top News stories.
The things that show up as Recent Stories still are not “everything” happening (that’s the live ticker feed). Rather, as before, these are things that are new activity from people and pages you interact with a lot. To influence what shows up here, you can set your feed options below to include your entire friends list. And you can also utilize your Close Friends and Acquaintances lists to tell FB whose activity you want featured (or not).
The link to your Events is now smaller, appearing just under the ticker feed. When you are looking at a profile, the link to your events will sometimes appear in the right bar there.
To manage lists or how you are connected to a friend, you can click the Friends button on their profile and make changes right there.
And a cool little design tweak, when someone uploads several photos, FB arranges them in a cool little collage on your feed. It takes up less space plus it’s pretty
It is a lot to take in. And I get that change can be disruptive. I do believe that these changes in functionality will improve how we use Facebook. Hopefully this post helps illustrate how to make use of the new functions. When other changes happen, I’ll be sure to post them!