It shouldn’t come as any surprise. Facebook has once again flipped the switch on its over 750 million users by making striking changes to the news feed. Some of the changes include a friend ticker and what Facebook believes to be your “top stories” at the beginning of the page with more recent and chronological stories falling second hand at the bottom. Many users woke up on Wednesday morning outraged about the updates to the major social networking site, but haven’t they all seen this before?
Change is uncomfortable to many and it will take a week or two to adjust, but like always the hype will soon fade away and everyone will forget about the old layout. They might actually begin to like the changes. After all, the site is a free service, one that provides its users the ability to connect with friends and family, something not many would want to give up.
That being said, what are two things the social networking giant could have done to avoid the negative spotlight?
1. Better Communication.
One of the reasons users were frustrated by the changes was the lack of warning. The site has been known to just up and change things without explanation. If Facebook wants to maintain its brand advocates, the appropriate way to go about the changes would have been to send out an email or message, letting users know what they will be seeing in the coming days.
2. Allow Flexibility.
Of course change isn’t always optional, but it is beneficial to allow users to have access to the old layout for at least some amount of time so they can ease into the new changes. Popular micro-blogging site Twitter just recently switched over their layout completely after having both the old and new versions available to users. This allows people to slowly ease into the changes, maybe actually seeking out the new version instead of having it thrust upon them.
They may be getting backlash right now, but Facebook has little to worry about because the majority of users aren’t going anywhere. In fact according to a recent study provided by eMarketer, the number of users is expected to grow by 13.4 percent this year from the last. So, bring on the changes, Facebook.