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Navigating The ‘New’ Facebook Changes

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(Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

(Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

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MIAMI (CBS4)- If you use Facebook and were shocked by what you saw when you logged on Wednesday, then you’re not alone. That’s because millions of users saw something they weren’t very familiar with and were confused over the new changes to Facebook.

Not every Facbook user is happy with the changes and experts said Facebook rolled out the changes because of upgrades to Google+

South Florida resident and CBSMiami Facebook fan John Hitchcock told us on CBSMiami’s Facebook page that the changes are ‘awful.’

“They did what they did to compete with a new service where there is no competition,” he said. “Why risk what they (obviously) have going for themselves for an unknown, especially such a drastic one?”

Ft. Lauderdale salesman John Radosta, who uses social networking for professionally and personally, agreed.

“I think it’s a little bit unnecessary, and I know it’s making some people angry a little bit,” he said.

And it turns out, “angry a little bit” may be an understatement.

Facebook is filled with dozens of complaints, including “I hate Facebook” pages, which were all triggered by the latest changes.

But others said it’s another list of change that were coming our way, as with the other changes in the past, which many became used to.

“It’s just a matter of adjusting to the new features,” user Christene Carr said. “If it stays or goes, either way I’ll be fine.”

She added that the “real time” status feature allowed her to respond to post quickly.

“I can say it is definitely designed to get people to engage more frequently,” she said.

South Florida resident Coral Busteva doesn’t think the changes are too bad and added, “No it’s changed, but it’s no biggie”.

Facebook user Serge Moreau Jr. said he wanted more notice of the changes.

“I just wish they would give us a warning before they change,” he said. “It’s like you suffer from short term memory loss and you have to relearn everything every few weeks.”

This latest Facebook facelift is part of a much bigger redesign expected to be officially unveiled over the next few weeks.

CBS Miami social media producer Shaneeva Yassin said many users aren’t happy with the changes, but like these and many other changes, they are expected.  She said the facelift offers more automatic content on the side of the page in the form of  ‘Ticker,’ and that’s along with a list of other new features.

“On the (right) side they have this feature called the Ticker, and the Ticker is able to pretty much let you know more information that were previously in the news feed that now is out of there,” Yassin said. “So I mean it’s a different way of looking at the application and looking at Facebook, but it still has pretty much the same information. It’s just a matter of getting used to it.”

So what exactly are the changes and ‘upgrades’?

News Feed: Most Popular and What Matters Most At The Top

The new ‘news feed’ will clue you in on the most interesting stories. This means that users will not see the full scrolling main news feed, instead Facebook has decided that they will provide for you what the top stories or feeds are. It will be the top stories from an interest of yours or people you talk to most.

If you haven’t visited Facebook in a while, the first things the user will see are top photos and statuses posted while you’ve been away. These are marked with an ‘easy to spot’ blue corner.

If you’re an avid Facebook user you’ll be able to see the most recent posts first.

Ticker: See What Friends Are Up To In Real Time

Ticker is located at the top right and updates Facebookers with more information about their friends. For instance, here you can view whose status and photo a person commented on and who they recently became friends with.

Ticker shows Facebookers the same content they were already seeing on Facebook, but in a different spot and with updates instantaneously. Now when a friend comments or shares something like a check in, you will be able to join the conversation and comment “without losing your place on your main news feed,” said Mark Tonkelowitz, engineering manager at Facebook, in a Facebook blog.

You may customized who can see your updates anywhere on Facebook, including in Ticker and News Feed, you can adjust your sharing control or apps settings.

Photos: Bigger View & Faster Uploads

The recent changes to Facebook also bring with it bigger thumbnail images on the News Feed for your viewing purpose. Faster upload speed is another upgrade.

There were other changes Facebook introduced recently as well, including the subscribe button and a new friend list.

Subscribe: Control What You Want To See

The subscribe option gives you the chance to choose exactly what you see in your News Feed, including all updates, most updates and important updates only. If you would like to see more stories from your closest friends and less from your coworkers, then you can control that with the subscribe button.

The button is shown at the top right of a friend’s profile page. It allows users to: Choose what you see from friends in News Feed, hear from people, even if you’re not friends and vice versa.

But “choosing what you see is optional. If you don’t want to change what you see from someone, just ignore the button,” Facebook said in their subscription button blog.

You can also get your own subscribers with the added feature. That means it you would like to share your public updates with more than just friends, you can get a subscribe button on your profile as well. People who “subscribe to you will get posts you set as “Public” in their News Feeds.” But the feature is entirely optional.

‘Improved’ Friend List & Notifications

Facebook said they’ve improved the Friend List. If you want to see posts from your closest friends or want to share a personal story with your family and not your coworkers you can now do so.

In other words, they’ve changed the way notifications happen. They’ve introduced smart lists, which automatically updates what your close friends, family and coworkers are doing. And it’s listed in separate categories under ‘Lists,’ located on the left of your main page, not profile page. These lists are based on the groups you’ve created.

Facebook announced three improvements to the lists:

  • Smart lists – You’ll see smart lists that create themselves and stay up-to-date based on profile info your friends have in common with you–like your work, school, family and city.
  • Close Friends and Acquaintances lists – You can see your best friends’ photos and posts in one place, and see less from people you’re not as close to.
  • Better suggestions – You can add the right friends to your lists without a lot of effort.

Friend Lists are completely optional, which means you don’t have to use them.

You may read more on the list changes by clicking here.

Faster Photo Uploading Speed

The photos users share on Facebook are bigger, 720 pixels to 920 pixels, and load twice as fast. Photos you’ve already uploaded to your profile will also be displayed at this higher resolution.

At the end of August, Facebook said, “After we launched the first version of the photo viewer earlier this year, we received feedback from many of you and have made changes based on it.  Today, we are rolling out a more streamlined photo viewer that features a cleaner interface that makes it even easier to enjoy your photos. The light box is now set against a simple white background that puts more of the focus on the photo, and less on the surrounding frame.”

In the meantime, unhappy users can double check all their Facebook privacy settings to limit unwanted content and who can view their specific content.

There are also  third party helper-apps which can cut down a lot of the unwanted content you may now be getting, but may not really want, CBS4′s Al Sunshine reported.

Facebook’s F8 Conference is on Thursday in San Francisco. The company is expected to unveil more about the changes and other topics, including the rise of social marketing, developing products at Facebook and the future of digital music.

You may tune into the conference on Thursday at 12:30 EST by clicking here or you may watch it from your mobile device at www.livestream.com/f8live

For the latest updates, the company has a blog you may refer to for the latest happenings on updates and news.

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