Facebook unveiled a host of changes in recent days, including improved friends lists, a subscribe button, new news feeds, and bigger pictures.
Judging from the early reaction, you'd be hard-pressed to find a Facebook user that likes the changes.
Facebook released the modifications as its newest rival, Google+, opened up to all Web users. Though Facebook has been in a near-constant state of change over the years, the newest updates come with some of the harshest criticism.
The once clean and simple screen is now sectioned off into a real-time scroll and a permanently opened chat - and that's just the beginning.
Here's a look at the changes:
The New News Feed
This may be one of the most controversial changes. The new news feed changes the look of the Facebook home page. Facebook claims all your news is now in one place. Top stories since you last visited are at the top, each top story is now marked with a blue corner, and recent stories are found below, in the order they were posted.
The controversial part about this is that Facebook has basically assimilated the Most Recent stories option and now determines what it considers Top News:
We determine whether something is a top story based on lots of factors, including your relationship to the person who posted the story, how many comments and likes it got, what type of story it is, etc. For example, a friend's status update that might not normally be a top story may become a top story after many other friends comment on it.
You can, however, filter by friend lists and hide a person or story type.
You can learn more about the new News Feed HERE
The News Ticker
To make up for the former Most Recent news feed, Facebook added a news ticker in the top-right corner of the screen, showing friends' latest updates in chronological order. Clicking on the updates shows the full story and all related likes and comments.
The Subscribe Button
Using this button gives you the ability to pick and choose the types of content you would like to see from individual friends. You can include in your news feed all, most, or only the most important information from each of your friends. The button also gives you the ability to follow the lives and actions of the interesting people that you aren't friends with.
You can learn more about the Subscribe Button HERE
The Improved Friends List
If you check out your friends list, you may find new clusters of friends have appeared (i.e. your employer, high school, college, city, family, etc.). The new lists allow you to post updates straight to the friends and family who will find them the most interesting, without worrying about bothering anyone else.
For instance, if you want to post a recipe for your family to see, you can post directly to them. Or, if you want to share an office-specific joke, you can share it exclusively with your office friends.
You can learn more about the Improved Friends List HERE
Reaction to the changes
The comments on the Facebook blog for the new changes have been overwhelmingly negative.
One user writes:
Lame. Quite frankly I don't want Facebook deciding who is most important in my life. I want my news feed to just go chronologically and if I want to hide posts from someone, I will. Stop changing. You're becoming MySpace and I left there for a reason.
The comment has nearly 1,500 likes.
Another user writes:
Facebook, you're not near as smart as you think you are. Your algorithms for deciding what I want to see, who I want to talk to or what I think is important are 99.999% of the time the exact polar opposite of what I want. Everything you do to try to simplify things only complicates things more. Every attempt you make to improve things inevitably ends up in a HUGE step backwards.
It seems the sentiment is felt far and wide. The term #NewFacebook is among the top trending topics on Twitter right now, with many users upset over the changes. It's also one of the top searches on Google.
Hold your breath, because Facebook isn't done yet. According to Mashable, the social media powerhouse plans to launch a music and media platform at the f8 developer conference later this week.
Do you like the new changes? Share your thoughts in the comments below.