Facebook Announces Updates to New Home Page in Response to User Feedback

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Since Facebook launched the redesigned home page two weeks ago, there has been a variety of feedback from users and press. Today, Facebook announced that it will be making some changes to the new home page in response to that feedback in the near future:

1. Live updating of the home page stream. Facebook said it will be adding this “soon” – now you will no longer need to refresh the page. Many users had requested that it update automatically.

2. Photos of tagged friends in the stream. Facebook said it will be adding photos of your tagged friends to the stream in “the coming weeks.” Photos of tagged friends were very prominent in the old News Feed.

3. More filters on application content. “We’ve heard feedback that there is a lot of application content appearing in the stream,” Facebook says. “We will be giving you tools to control and reduce application content that your friends share into your stream.” As we documented this morning, many of the fastest growing apps on the Facebook Platform since the home page redesign have been personality quizzes, and users have been complaining that quiz results have been taking up too much space in the stream (even though they were all intentionally shared by friends). Now, it sounds like Facebook may start letting users hide feed stories per application, not just per person.

4. More frequently updated highlights. Highlights will update more frequently throughout the day “to mirror more closely the content that the earlier News Feed provided.” Some users have complained that the highlights are not relevant enough and too stale.

5. Moving requests back to the top right column. Facebook will be moving friend requests and app requests back to the right column, likely because conversion rates went down when they moved them to their current location next to the welcome message.

6. Enabling friend list creation right from the home page. Currently, creating a friend list is not that easy – users have to go to the Friends page and create a new list.

In addition, Facebook said that it is thinking about making additional updates to the stream in the future. “We have the eventual goal of building filters that summarize this activity so you can see a more condensed view of what’s been going on. We’re also thinking about ways of filtering out some of the Wall posts and content directed to specific people to focus more on posts shared with everyone.”

Facebook is balancing its goals of turning the service into a real-time communications platform with users who are accustomed to using the site in different ways and who have configured their experience according to those use patterns. For example, many people around Silicon Valley complain that they built their Facebook friend list with different intentions than subscribing to their update stream, while many other casual users say that they can’t even tell the difference.

These updates fix many of the usability issues associated with the new stream, but don’t fundamentally change the direction Facebook is going.

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Leave a Reply

21 Responses to “Facebook Announces Updates to New Home Page in Response to User Feedback”

  1. Ben Smith says:

    how about we simply go back to the way it was…

  2. Dave says:

    Wow. I’m amazed that they are being responsive. These changes are needed.

  3. Schaeffer Home » Blog Archive » Facebook is listening says:

    [...] Details on what they are planning can be found here: [...]

  4. Christina Viering says:

    It is an improvement.

  5. Darren O'Rourk says:

    It is a simple fact that Facebook is what it is because of its users. That is no revolutionary statement.

    They will listen to its community and make changes if they fit within their overall vision. The site will become stale if they don’t keep tweaking the features and feeds.

  6. Facebook Responds and It's Not That Big of a Deal : Maria Reyes-McDavis says:

    [...] Inside Facebook Resports on Response [...]

  7. Andrés Feliciano says:

    I hope they bring the previous version back. This will only gonna make it suck a little bit less.

  8. Chad Estes says:

    First off – it’s great that Facebook is taking user feedback so seriously and responding quickly. There will always be nay-sayers and there’s only so much you can do about that except provide professional responses to the masses via blog posts, which I think they’ve done a great job with in this case.

    As a representative of a company, Vitrue (http://www.vitrue.com), who helps brands manage their social presence, these changes are certainly going to impact how we design solutions for brands to maximize their effectiveness fro brands while also providing utility & relevance to users without becoming invasive.

  9. Franking Privilege says:

    Restoring certain non-visual functionality is a plus.
    However, what we’ve LOST is the little (already limited) amount of custom features available to CHANGE the LOOK of one’s facebook Wall.
    Removing the ability to post FULL SIZE photos, and post FULL paragraph NOTES, has taken away the ONLY way to VISUALLY DIFFERENTIATE one’s Wall from someone else’e.
    It’s called we have LOST the LIBERTY to be DIFFERENT from the rest of the MASSES of other facebook users THROUGH CREATIVE SELF-DETERMINED MEANS.
    ALL respect for the VISUAL and the CREATIVE has been thrown under the bus for hand-held text-messaging devices.
    INFORMATION has trumped VISUAL CREATIVITY.
    The majority of this debate has shown absolutely NO SENSIBILITY for INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM of EXPRESSION and any of the ideological and political implications of that lack.
    An equally loud and disturbing voice has come from the many “20somethings” and younger to “Get Over IT!” “accept CHANGE, dudes!”
    This is undoubtedly the generation that will usher in Neo-Fascism and the New World Order in our lifetime.

  10. Hot Facebook news - Updates para la nueva home de Facebook « Xavier Molina Ullastre - Networker, Social Networks, 2.0, SMO, Networking, eventos, Networkingoffline, says:

    [...] Fuente: inside Facebook [...]

  11. Portland Real Estate says:

    Yeah, I would like it to go back to the way it was, I find the new layout to be less helpful and more confusing.

  12. Several Tweaks Giving Users More Control Over the New Home Page Now Live says:

    [...] Facebook announced that it would be making several updates to the new home page based on user feedback. Tonight, some of those updates are now [...]

  13. Marian Brent says:

    Bring back the old FB, please! More changes aren’t going to make it better.

  14. Just A Dude says:

    I’m still wondering: It wasn’t broken, why did they try to fix it? As usual, they messed up what people knew and understood (and took awhile to get used to) just for the sake of change. Now people can’t find their stuff and can’t figure out the new, BROKEN layout, so people are leaving in DROVES. Those who stay are crying out for a return to what was, so, again, I’m left wondering why they tried to “fix” what was already enjoyable and loved by millions…..

  15. La nuova homepage di Facebook modificata in risposta al feedback degli iscritti | RaccoltaBlog says:

    [...] Via | InsideFacebook.com [...]

  16. tom says:

    why did they take away the time and date thing? “Recent Activity” sucks

  17. Facebook Turns On Live Updates in the Home Page Stream says:

    [...] after the new home page launched, Facebook made several usability enhancements to the stream, including better filters, better highlights, moving friend requests back to the top [...]

  18. LML says:

    I can’t stand the new friends page- miss the straight forward old friends list which included updates vs. having to click on each person to see theirs- what a pain.

  19. Zach Mannon says:

    How about a feed search?

    Often I recall an interesting post that I want to go back and check out but can’t remember who posted it. It would be great if we could search our news feed from previous days, weeks, months, etc.

  20. BIG Interactive » Blog Archive » With New Facebook Stream, Compelling Feed Stories Can Lead to Faster Viral Growth says:

    [...] latest redesign triggered a torrent of user feedback. This time, Facebook responded quickly by tweaking the home page stream. In response to complaints that too much application content was filling users’ streams, a filter [...]

  21. Facebook's Response in Perspective says:

    [...] Inside Facebook Resports on Response [...]

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