If you are one of Facebook’s 800 million active users, then you were just as interested as I was to see what new changes CEO Mark Zuckerberg would introduce to the social network. However, after the changes began to hit the site, a majority of users, including myself, were looking for a “dislike” button.
Changes made to the updated website include larger photos and users are seeing a “top stories” heading directing them to which friends they interact with most and which news feeds have the most likes or comments.
Facebook engineers also decided to place a moving “ticker” along the right margin to allow users to see what their friends are “liking” or commenting on.
With users responding with updates such as “This sucks,” “Where’s the dislike button,” and comparing the changes to MySpace, a number of Facebook users are wondering if Zuckerberg’s site will suffer the same fate.
Throughout history, a number of companies have experimented with changes that have led to disastrous outcomes. Recently, these have included both Gap and Netflix.
Often, the decision of social networking sites to make multiple long-term changes can lead to users becoming unfamiliar with navigating the site. Need an example? Remember Yahoo360? Yeah, me neither. Well, if you still remember your MySpace password, visit their homepage and scroll through the list of changes responsible for their continuous loss of membership.
Since the original launch of Facebook in 2004, the social network has added numerous changes to its site. However, with plans to create a timeline and update its “Like” button through Facebook Gestures, I feel its recent six million losses in users may continue to get worse in coming years. As more and more social networking sites arise with new members, Facebook should be careful of not falling into the creative traps of past networking sites.