Facebook is constantly innovating in attempts to stay on top of the social media hierarchy. Social media has maneuvered its way into every aspect of life; everything from voting-based TV shows to missing person publicity has success and extreme exposure by using the many platforms offered. In order to stay relevant, Facebook must adapt with consumer trends. While the changes are often understandable, change comes with animosity from users who were accustomed to how things were before the change.
Most users adapt to the many changes Facebook throws their way. However, there are always the users who post their disagreement with what seems like constant change, even going so far as threatening to shut down their personal Facebook page for good. One of the most hated changes in recent history was the move of every profile to “timeline” style, with a large rectangular photo of the user’s choice at the top of their page and content displayed in two columns, with “about” innformation on one side and posts on the other.
While all users have adapted to the timeline style by now, there will always be a renovation around the corner. The newest change in the works deals with the mobile application of Facebook and its advertisement base. The functionality of Facebook will remain relatively untouched by this addition.
Of course, with a wave of unwanted change comes a little bit of welcome change. The full customization of what a user sees in their news feed has been a generally well-received change. In 2011, Facebook added the ability for the user to categorize updates; users can now decide whether to see updates from all of the people on their friends list, or just a select few. Later in 2011 Facebook also added a feature that picks out updates that matter most to the user, based on past activity, and displays them prominently on an individual’s page.
With any popular website come advertisements. Facebook added noticeable advertisements to the website in 2012 under the “featured” column of the website. Many people have an understandable animosity towards advertisements; though this was a change that was inevitable because advertisement comes with heightened popularity. Facebook does sometimes listen to backlash of change and accommodates accordingly.
Back in 2006 when the “news feed” launched on Facebook, users were concerned with the amount of privacy that could be jeopardized with added exposure. In response Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, added in extra privacy customization so users could control what certain friends saw. While Facebook does not normally adjust its renovations, it does listen when privacy issues arise.
Change is not a welcome concept for the majority of people, especially when it is related to technology. Change can be confusing and time-consuming. Facebook is no exception to change-induced frustration; though, its insistence on constant innovation and change is no mystery. The social media giant must stay on top of the hierarchy in which it operates and change may be the only way. The changes that Facebook makes will always be received with animosity from some users; most users eventually, though often reluctantly agree that much good can come from change. Facebook still has a record number of users, proving change is effective.
By Courtney Heitter