With over 800 million users, Facebook has rolled out some major changes to enhance and increase user experience and activity.  As always most changes come with resistance and these changes are no exception.  However, taking a few minutes to review and understand these changes will give you a better understanding as to how these changes will affect the way you use this social media platform.

Let’s take a look! Who knows you just might like the change!

The news ticker allows the user to view what their friends are doing on Facebook in real time. The Ticker is what you see constantly moving in the upper right corner of your account. The ticker not only includes posts, but also the activity of the user. This activity includes commenting on posts, liking pages, liking posts, etc.

Basically, once the user shares a new post or completes an activity, it shows up in their friend’s ticker. The friend then has the ability to chime in, share, or “like” the post right inside the ticker, all in real time.

Users do have some control over what is being displayed in their ticker. Just click on the post in the ticker, hover over it and a box with an arrow will appear, then click the arrow and choose to hide the post, etc.

News Feed
You are now viewing “Top Stories” and “Recent Stories” areas on your news feed. Facebook puts posts in the “top stories” area that it thinks you will find interesting. In the “Recent Stories” area you will find your friends posts in order from the newest to oldest.

You can help Facebook choose what stories you would consider “Top Stories” by hovering over a post you like and clicking the left corner tab to “mark as top story.” Also when hovering the post you will notice a right tab with an arrow. When clicking this tab more options are available such as hide story, view all or most updates, and unsubscribe from the person or their status updates.

New Apps
The updates that are changing Facebook will also give Developers more freedom to produce a much larger variety of social apps. Some of the apps that you can expect to see include: Netflix, Hula, Spotify, and much more! You can also expect to see a change in the standard “like” button to include more action words, such as reading, watching, and listening.

Users may now choose to turn on a “Subscribe” button. Enabling this button allows individuals to follow your feed without being friends. This may be a useful feature to public figures who wish to share a personal connection with their audience. You can turn on the “subscribe” button by clicking here: http://www.facebook.com/about/subscribe

Friend Lists
This feature will keep your friends organized and allows you to post to a particular group of people. Facebook auto generates a few of the lists and populates them for you based on your friend’s profile information (classmates, family, coworkers, and friends that are local). To access your lists, click on the word “List” located on your home page to the left under your profile image. To add friends to a list just click the “manage list” button in the upper right corner. You can create as many lists as you like by clicking the button, “Create a List” at the top of the main list page.

Timeline will change the look of the Facebook profile entirely. Timeline is being referred to as a “scrapbook” of the person’s life or at least their life as it appears on Facebook. Everything that you have ever posted will appear in chronological order on the timeline that you as the account holder can manage. Here is a video Facebook released to introduce Timeline.

Timeline brings a plethora of changes all on it’s own. I have been trying it out in the beta version for the last week. Here are some highlights that I have noticed:

  • Cover Image ~ You will now have the ability to add a large image, aka “Cover” to the top of your personal profile.
  • Your basic information, friends, likes, photos, etc. will now be located toward the top of your profile under the “cover” image.
  • Any tagged images must be approved by your before they are displayed on your page. (I like this one for sure!!!)
  • Hide or feature posts on your timeline by hovering over the post and clicking the corresponding tab.
  • A map is now displayed as part of your profile to show the places you have been.
  • You can post major life events including breaking a bone, by clicking on the icons located in your status bar.

Although there are still some issues and areas of concern, especially regarding privacy, Facebook is going full speed ahead to give their users the best possible social experience.

Now that the initial shock is wearing off, are you starting to embrace the new Facebook?

Jen PuckettJen Puckett is owner of Jenz Virtual Office, an outsourcing company for FUNky entrepreneurs. Jen specializes in handling the techie tasks for your online business. She has over 10 years experience in web site design.

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