Revamped Facebook News Feed to Launch Thursday, Offer New Options, Invite New Complaints

Facebook someecards

I’m bored with these things, but its use works on multiple levels. Just this once.

On Thursday, March 7th, Facebook users will have to prepare themselves for whatever egregious sins the site is preparing to commit against its users in the name of commerce, site aesthetics, or merry corporate pranksterism. Now that we’ve all settled down from the Timeline kerfuffle and the diminished prominence of Facebook Pages whose owners refuse to pay for placement privileges (such as MCC’s own), the company has decided we’ve all been too quiet and it’s time to ruffle feathers again.

This time the Powers That Hate Your Comfort Zone are turning their attention to the News Feed. A February 28th press conference revealed scant details about the overhaul, which may or may not promise larger graphics, heavier advertising, more feed-splitting options, and/or more features catering to mobile phone users. At this point we commoners who aren’t well-connected journalists remain in the dark about the specifics. Even if they were revealed now, I probably wouldn’t read about them anyway. When I log in Thursday, I plan to approach the changes just like the average user would: by launching Facebook with zero expectations, convincing myself my visit will be normal, and then wasting hours trying to undo the damage wrought by someone else’s impaired vision of what “good ideas” look like.

Naturally I have my own notions about how to improve Facebook, none of which are likely to be adopted in my lifetime, or credited to me if they are. Optimizing my own personal Facebook experience would require a few of the following inventions and tweaks:

* An add-on that runs every linked news article or scandalous rumor through a Snopes.com filter. If Snopes has already debunked the story or gossip in question, the post is automatically deleted and the Friend is banned from my Feed for a week.

* Photoshop detector and removal kit; instantly scrubs any altered pics clean.

* Additional reaction buttons besides just “Like”. Many people have mentioned the idea of a “Dislike” button, but I’d also like to see button options for “Super-Like”, “Super-Dislike”, “That’s Racist”, “Watch Your Language”, “Cheer Up Already”, “Marry Me?”, “I Don’t Get It”, and “TMI”.

* PayPal button that I can click to send micropayment tips to Friends who write their own statuses — no copy/paste reposts, no “someecards”, no quotes from Presidents, Gandhi, or MLK.

* Triage feature that pulls any political posts into a separate feed, where they’re converted into tiny avatars and forced to fight each other to the death.

* Meme Alert that informs me of new memes so I can start overusing them before my Friends do.

* A “Summon the Four Horsemen” button I can click to send random natural disasters at my Friends’ FarmVille spreads.

* Background color options besides just white, white, and white.

* A “Facebook Pages of the Week” feature that spotlights different small businesses, self-employers, freelance creators, and, say, humble bloggers so that we can all have extra promotional exposure without Facebook gouging us for thousands of dollars for the chance.

* My Words with Friends win/loss stats, to scare away challengers and conserve my free time.

* A “Number of Days Till MySpace Shuts Down” doomsday clock.

That date again: Thursday, March 7th. Be prepared to have the foundations of your online world rocked with the seismic shifts in store. Also be prepared for someone to start a new Group called “One Million Facebook Users Against the News Feed Changes”, assuming it hasn’t already happened by the time I finish typing this sentence.

(Nope, nothing yet. Everyone refresh later.)

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About Randall A. Golden
A Hoosier since birth, a geek since age 6, a father since age 22, and a Christian since age 30. Full-time customer service rep; part-time Internet participant; content provider to Nightly.net since 2001; prone to Twitter-lurking as @RandallGolden . Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of any other corporation, being, or party line.

7 Responses to Revamped Facebook News Feed to Launch Thursday, Offer New Options, Invite New Complaints

  1. lisareither says:

    I’d also like to see a “Shut the $@!% Up” button, so that people could click that, and then other people could use the “Watch your Language” button on those people. It would be funny to watch.

  2. What? Newsfeed? I don’t even have a newsfeed on my stupid FB. Maybe one will magically appear now…

  3. Honie Briggs says:

    You just renewed my faith in my decision making abilities. No FB for me. Yeah, that was easy.

    • Yeah, the more changes they make, the harder it becomes to recommend to anyone not already sucked in. It’s a useful tool for me in a few ways (it’s easier than calling or visiting relatives!), and even connected me to a pair of friends I hadn’t seen in 25 years…but my use of late has gotten more and more passive. Sigh.

  4. Val says:

    I enjoyed your post and it made me log into my FB to see what had happened!

    They did a few test profiles some weeks back and one of my RL friends got stuck with the results. Now they’ve done the same thing to everyone – it’s just a single column on the right with all the other crap on the left. I like it better this way.

    I’d add another button along with the ones you want: *If you send me anymore positivity messages I’m going to turn negative.

    Btw, I found you via Freshly Depressed!!

    • Hey there, and welcome! Thanks for reading the FDP piece. :) I can imagine some kind of positivity-in-moderation button might be useful, like a “Saccharine Alert”.

      I’ve now seen an illustration of the new design (CNN had an article today) — I’m not excited about having every pic blown up super-sized, but as of this writing it still hasn’t happened to my Profile yet. Maybe this is one of those gradual rollouts that will consume us all, several thousand at a time…

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