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Commentary: Changes make cents for Facebook

Change is rarely greeted with open arms. When it comes to Facebook, you would think we’d be used to it by now.

When Facebook rolled out their latest updates on Wednesday, users were up in arms. The change included a redesigned news feed, a ticker with real-time conversations and more.

I hadn’t been on Facebook since the changes rolled out and I played around with them for the first time. I’ve checked a few notifications on my iPhone, but navigating the site and reading my news feed was just plain annoying. I’m not sure what algorithm they are using to configure the stories in my feed, but it sucks. I don’t remember being friends with half the people who are showing up — and the ones I do want to see and interact with aren’t in my feed. And I don’t know about you, but I’m a pretty busy person. I don’t have time to sit down and formulate Facebook lists, or sift through my news feed to see what my friends are up to. After all, the ones I actually do want to see aren’t showing up anyway!

Then came the “big announcement.” On Thursday, the f8 conference, where entrepreneurs, developers and innovators gather to network, took place in San Francisco. Mashable.com announced that Facebook would be unveiling the next big thing for their website. Mashable writer Ben Parr said that the changes Facebook would be announcing are going to “change the world of social media.” The rebirth of the website that Mark Zuckerberg announced includes a completely redesigned interface with a Timeline, which is about the user expressing themselves through every aspect of the site, utilizing more apps and pictures. The social networking site will also be integrated with Spotify, Netflix, games and more. All of this comes with new ways of implementing advertisements.

There are more than 750 million people worldwide actively using Facebook. Zuckerberg’s goal isn’t to increase traffic. They already have that. And no matter what they do, the large majority of those users aren’t going to just stop using the website because their profile was reorganized. It has become a way of life for some, in the last few years. And more than anything it is perhaps the No. 1 source of connecting with friends and family online. As if David Fincher’s film didn’t tell us this enough, Facebook’s goal is to increase revenue. And the new “evolution” of Facebook is evidence of that.

So the next time you find yourself complaining about yet another roll out of Facebook updates, and are screaming “Why?!” at your computer screen, just remember that Facebook is a business, trying to make money just like everyone else.

 

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