I've been asked by several people today how I'm figuring out the new FB design.  I definitely don't know all the answers, but here is what I've been able to figure out and first impressions.  Some of what I've written is my own personal opinion on the changes. If you have a different idea about them, I'd love to hear it.

I rushed to put this together between meetings and have not had time to take screen shots to better illustrate what FB has done.  Mashable has a few screen shots that may help you: http://mashable.com/2011/09/21/facebook-changes/.  Normally I'd make all my text hyperlinks pretty, but no time today, so please excuse the mess!

1.    We’ve lost the “Most Recent” option… almost.  When you first log onto FB, FB is going to put “Top Stories” from X-amount of time right at the top of your page.  These are your Most Recent stories.  However, FB is still deciding which of these most recent are important to you.  I logged on and found 1 “Top Story” post from the past 30-min, but below under “Recent Posts” found posts that had been done in that 30-min time.  FB decided those weren’t as important to me so put them lower on my feed.

2.    When new updates come in while you’re on your page you will get a message at the top of your page, like “3 New Stories.” Click on this to get those updates.

3.    Facebook seems to be separating posts into various sections “Top,” “Recent,” & “Earlier Today.” Below whichever section is at the very top of your page are the rest of the sections and this is where the other posts that have been done by your friends, pages, and groups appear.  These are what FB is determining what is most important to you and where it should be seen on your news feed.

4.    You can go through each of these posts to rank the importance of the post to you.  Hover your mouse over the right side of the post to get a drop down menu.  Here is where you determine rank, and even how many posts from your friend or page you receive.  What you choose here will determine where future posts from your friend or page will appear in your news feed.  From what I see, “Most Updates” is the default option, so if you want to see every post from friends, you’ll need to change this for each of those friends.

5.    On some posts you will see a blue triangle in the upper left-hand corner of the page.  If it is blue, FB has determined this is a Top Story, or an important post to you.  If you disagree with FB you can click on the blue triangle to unmark it as a Top Story.  When you do this, FB gives you a message that says it will try not to put messages like this in your feed again.  I don’t understand what that means – does it mean it won’t use posts from my friend again, or just not use posts with similar wording from my friend??

6.    You’ll now find a Ticker on the right side of your FB page.  This is every action your friends are doing – liking a story, making a comment on someone’s status, publishing their own status, making a change to their profile, etc. at the moment your friend does it.  The purpose is for you to have immediate interaction with your friend.  I frankly don’t need or want this; however, I did find a friend’s status in the Ticker before her status ever made my news feed.  This seems backwards to me.  In my opinion, while most of what FB has done is to compete with Google Plus, the Ticker and the Subscription button (see below) were done to compete with Twitter.

Here are a couple of aspects of the FB changes to Pages that I do like:

1.    The ability to see how many shares a post has received along with who shared it.  This isn’t just a function for Pages.  You'll see shares on your own posts as well now.  Seeing how many shares and who shared the posts can be used in determining your FB strategy and getting to know your audience.

2.    Friend Activity has been added to the menu on the left under your profile picture.  This allows you to see how all of your friends are interacting with a Page.  This too gives us a greater understanding of our own pages by seeing how each of our own friends interact with the page.  This is all important information in your social marketing strategy. 

If you don’t manage a page it means you get to see immediate interactions from your friends you already trust.  If you friend does something on a page, or tags a page with a comment on the company, then you are more likely to include your friend’s use and opinions in making your decisions on your own use and actions.

First impress of FB and original email I sent to coworkers on FB:


If you’ve been on facebook today you have seen the drastic changes FB has yet once again done.  These changes were done to outright compete with Google Plus.  If you use Google Plus you’ll see many similarities between the two social networks. Here are some of my initial observations and explanations.

1. Top Stories/News Feed and Filters
Facebook tries to make your social network life easier by determining what you want to see on your news wall.  It has done this for quite a while with what used to be your choices on “Top Posts” or “Everyone” or other filters you may have set up.  Those filters are gone.  In the new system Facebook is showing you what it believes to be of most interest to you since your last log in called “Top Stories.” 

You can set filters to determine what you see.  The problem with this is if you haven’t already set filters, or haven’t created lists for your friends, then you will have to do that now or let FB determine what you will see.

Facebook’s help section tries to explain all the changes: http://www.facebook.com/#!/help?faq=277741542238350&in_context I myself don’t understand it all but am trying to figure it out quickly.  If you have any questions, please ask.

NOTE: this feature could make updates from Pages lower in priority to show up on someone’s wall.  If you’re constantly on our page, like I am, the updates will post high on my wall, but if you don’t come to the page or comment on posts often, you most likely will see less and less of our posts.  Yes, this is a problem and we will have to work even harder to make our FB page relevant to our news consumers.

2. Subscribe feature
Facebook created a Subscribe button – now you don’t have to be someone’s friend to get their updates on your wall.  You can allow subscribers to follow your updates.  If you do this you must pay attention to who you’re allowing your posts to be shown – Public, Friends, Custom.

Facebook did this specifically with journalists in mind. See the links below for further information
Subscriptions for Journalists: https://developers.facebook.com/attachment/Subscriptions_Journalists.pdf/

3.  Status Updates – adding a link

In the new design at the top of your page you will see Update Status, Add Photo, Ask Question.  You no longer see “Add Link.”
To add a link, click on Update Status.
Paste your link into your status box.
The link will attach.
In the status box where you posted the link is where you write your thoughts on your link.

NOTE: it looks rather silly to have the link both in your status update and attached to your status.  You can erase, or delete, the link from your status box after it has attached and it will stay attached to your post.

While facebook is causing me to have an ulcer, it is the most rapidly growing social network.  So much so that it has been called the new internet:

The WSJ believes in this so that today it launched WSJ Social – a FB app, where you basically get to be an editor for what you see from the WSJ based on your own likes and the likes of your friends. http://social.wsj.com

BEFORE you accept the WSJ FB app permission I encourage you to read what the WSJ is asking to do with your FB account, such as post items to your wall, and to have access to your account even when you’re not using your account.

I know this is a lot, but facebook has done a lot.  Again, please ask me any questions you may have.  If I don’t know the answer I will figure it out.