Thursday, September 22, 2011

Facebook's "Upgrade"

multiple facebook f's image from from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
Today Facebook made some big changes. The most viewed social network is under some stiff competition and some user attrition to Google+, so they just had to do something soon before the trickle became a flood. Here's a bit of an article from Mashable that talks about the changes and has a great slideshow as well. We'll look at the specifics more next week.
"For Facebook, it all boils down to one problem: emotion. Facebook has hundreds of millions of users and spectacular levels of engagement, but it is a platform that has lost its emotional resonance over the years. More and more people visit Facebook out of necessity rather than desire. It’s a platform people prefer to hate, but won’t leave simply because all their friends are there.

It’s a relationship gone stale. After years of dating, the magic between Facebook and its users has dissipated. It’s a natural evolution in any relationship, but now there is another suitor vying for Facebook’s users. And a lot of people think this suitor is easy on the eyes.

That’s why Facebook launched three recent changes: revamped Friend Lists, a real-time news ticker, and the subscribe button. Friend Lists lets you share content with just your closest friends (with whom you have the strongest emotional connection), and the ticker lets you have real-time conversations with your friends as soon as they do anything. Subscribe lets you fill your News Feed with people you admire and respect, fostering a different type of emotional connection.

But these changes are just the beginning. The changes Facebook will roll out on Thursday are designed to enhance the emotional connection its users have to each other through Facebook. These changes will make Facebook a place where nearly everything in your life is enhanced by your social graph. These changes will make it so you know your friends better than you ever thought you could."

I think the most significant update will be "subscribe," a feature that we'll look at in detail next week.
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