Facebook getting ready to change News Feed (Update)

Mar 07, 2013 by Barbara Ortutay

Amid chatter of "Facebook fatigue," real or imagined, the world's biggest social networking company is getting ready to unveil a new version of News Feed, the flow of status updates, photos and advertisements its users see on the site.

Facebook Inc. is hosting an event at its Menlo Park, California, headquarters on Thursday to show off "a new look for News Feed." The company offered no other details on what the changes will be in an invitation sent to journalists and bloggers. It will be Facebook's second staged event at its headquarters since the company's May initial public offering. The company unveiled a search feature at the first one in January.

If past site changes are any indication, the News Feed tweaks may take some getting used to and will likely lead to user grumbles. Facebook users often complain about changes to the site, whether it's cosmetic tweaks or the overhaul of privacy settings.

Gartner analyst Brian Blau says one change he'd like to see from Facebook as a user is the ability to control how much he's seeing from the businesses and other non-friend accounts he follows. Currently users can only tweak how much they see from their friends, not from businesses they follow.

"We have a 'like' but there is no degree of 'like,' it's binary," he says. "I need a 'like plus' or even a 'like minus.'"

The event comes a month after a Pew study reported that many Facebook users take a break from the site for weeks at a time. The report, from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, found that some 61 percent of Facebook users had taken a hiatus for reasons that range from boredom to too much irrelevant information to Lent.

Overall, though, Facebook's user base is growing, especially on mobile devices. At last count it had 1.06 billion active monthly accounts. The number of people who access Facebook daily is also on the rise.

That said, even the company has acknowledged that some of its users, especially the younger ones, are migrating to substitutes, but so far this has not meant an overall decline in user numbers.

"For example, we believe that some of our users have reduced their engagement with Facebook in favor of increased engagement with other products and services such as Instagram," the company said last month in the "risk factors" of its annual report. "In the event that our users increasingly engage with other products and services, we may experience a decline in user engagement and our business could be harmed."

Facebook owns Instagram, but so far it has not shown any ads on it.

Explore further: Startups offer banking for smartphone users

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pew: Most Facebook users take a break (Update)

Feb 05, 2013

Too much drama, boredom and scads of irrelevant information are just some of the reasons Facebook users give for taking a break from the world's biggest social networking site for weeks at a time, according ...

Facebook to suggest friends to tag in users photos

Dec 16, 2010

(AP) -- Facebook will try to make it easier to identify friends in photos uploaded to the social networking site by using facial recognition software to suggest people that users may want to tag.

Questions and answers on the latest 'New Facebook'

Sep 23, 2011

Every year or so - and sometimes more often - Facebook manages to miff a vocal percentage of users by changing the look and feel of its site. As it adds new features, it invariably takes away things that people ...

Recommended for you

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

Aug 30, 2014

The latest banks are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Startups, such as Moven and Simple, offer banking that's designed specifically for smartphones, enabling users to track their spending on the go. Some things ...

Ecuador heralds digital currency plans (Update)

Aug 29, 2014

Ecuador is planning to create what it calls the world's first digital currency issued by a central bank, which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning the country's existing currency, ...

'SwaziLeaks' looks to shake up jet-setting monarchy

Aug 29, 2014

As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to end a two-year forced stay at Ecuador's London embassy, he may take comfort in knowing he inspired resistance to secrecy in places as far away as Swaziland.

WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web

Aug 28, 2014

The World Economic Forum unveiled a project on Thursday aimed at connecting governments, businesses, academia, technicians and civil society worldwide to brainstorm the best ways to govern the Internet.

User comments : 0