5 New Facebook Changes That Matter

In this day and age of rapid change, people really want consistency. As we are unable to truly stop the wave of technological changes that the technology gods continue to throw at us, it’s reasonable to want a sense of the usual when it comes to our social media networks, right? Wrong. Facebook, the cutting-edge driver in this industry, continues to add, tweak or just plain change the layout and functionality of their site. Here is a list of items that have changed recently.

Facebook Change #1: Ticker
The ticker is a quick view of a user’s Facebook Status. It gives you the opportunity to see what your friends are doing. The ticker shows you the things you can already see, but in real time.  It helps you to keep up with the latest news as it happens, listen to music with your friends and click or hover over a story to join in the conversation.

Remember: People can only see the posts, comments and likes that you share with them. So if you share something with friends, only they will see it in ticker.

You can control what you see in the Ticker by hiding the story. Just as you can in the regular (or main body) of the status. The hide and unsubscribe settings you use to control what you see in your News Feed impacts what you see in your ticker. If you change the settings for one of your friends to see ‘Important Only’ or ‘Most Updates’ the ticker will actually show you more.

Facebook Change #2: The amount of characters available for Status Updates has increased
When writing a Status Update in the past, you only had 5000 characters to write. Now, you are able to write 63,206. Yes that is about a twelve-fold increase. But before you break out your novels and start typing, be advised that, as it was in the past, only the first 420 characters will show on the status. The rest is there but will be represented by an ellipsis (…). Some people think this is too excessive but, if you needed more room than 5000 then this gives you more space to tell your story and engage your followers. Sometimes more really is more.

Facebook Change #3: The Subscribe Button
The subscribe button allows you to hear from people you are interested in, even if you are not friends. You’ve always been subscribed to friends, and this didn’t change. Now you can keep up with journalists, celebrities, political figures and other people you’re interested in, too.  You can get their public updates in your News Feed by going to their profile (timeline) and clicking on the Subscribe Button. Once you subscribe, you can see their public posts in your news feed. You can also choose what you want to see from them by choosing the types of updates you want to see.

 Facebook Change #4: Highlighted Stories Removed
The masses have spoken. The ‘Highlighted Stories’ were a list located above the normal News Feed. The list was comprised of stories that Facebook detected to be most interesting to you. However, most people agreed that it was really superfluous. So Facebook has removed it altogether. Originally they decided to allow you to simply change the ‘Sort’ feature. But it appears that so many were hiding the highlighted stories, they simply removed them.

Facebook Change #5: Facebook Fan Pages for Brands getting Timeline
Facebook will make its Timeline format available for brands later this month. It is reported that Facebook will make it official Feb. 29 in New York. Don’t worry, not all brands will change at the same time. A few will be changed and then, overtime, more and more. Timeline is Facebook’s photo-heavy format for profile pages. This became available to developers in the Fall and there was little to no information on it impacting brands. Obviously that has now changed. Feedback has been positive from users who wanted to be able to have more self-expression on their pages. Time will tell how positive or negative an impact it will have on brands.

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