Facebook's Silent Change to Your Newsfeed

By  |  Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Facebook has been making a few changes to the way your newsfeed operates, some of which have been very visible. But it’s also made one change which you may have not even noticed, and might not want.

The visible changes are nice. For one, clicking on a picture now opens a pop-up rather than taking you to the page with that photo: nice for those like me annoyed they “lose their spot” and have to rescroll through previously read updates. Another is changes to the fan page design, which now mirror the look of profiles and gives Facebook a uniform design throughout.

Okay, nothing wrong with those tweaks. However if you’re like me, and comment on your friend’s statuses and prefer to just watch others, you may have noticed some people apparently are commenting much more, and others much less. This is due to a change in how the site displays your newsfeed: if you haven’t commented, liked, or looked at a person’s profile regularly, they have now seemingly disappeared.

I had noticed something was up a few days ago: certain people that are frequent Facebookers had suddenly stopped appearing. Was it something I said? Did they delete me? Nope, they’re still in my friends list. I then just chalked it up to those people just not statusing their life as much, it happens. Then a friend posted one of those chain statuses which piqued my curiosity:

HAVE YOU NOTICED LATELY THAT YOU ARE ONLY SEEING UPDATES OR GETTING COMMENTS FROM THE SAME PEOPLE LATELY? Facebook made a change.You only see posts from people you interact with “regularly!” To change this, Scroll down to the bottom of the ‘newsfeed’ homepage and click on “Edit Options.” Click on “Show Posts From” and change the setting to “All Of Your Friends and Pages” *REPOST THIS*

Sure enough, if you follow the directions, this option does indeed exist. And by default apparently (at least a half-dozen of my friends have confirmed this), the option “Friends and pages you interact with most” is checked. So in essence, Facebook has made a pretty fundamental change in the way your newsfeed operates, and without much notice at all.

While I can understand Facebook’s desire to make this change to clear out newsfeed spam, at the same time people may be using the site for more than just to keep on top of their closest buddies. The site has done a lot to publicize changes in the past, why would it not publicize this one? I

Are you changing back, or do you plan to keep the new way? I’m willing to guess the answers will likely have to do with how each person “friends” others. Some may keep it to real friends, others may add everyone andany one.



19 Comments For This Post

  1. Tim Joiner Says:

    I noticed that message the other day as well, but when I checked, mine was already defaulted to "show everything." Maybe they are setting the default based on your typical facebook behavior?

  2. Morgan Says:

    I have a theory Ed. Notice how this change comes quietly on the heels of the Sponsored Stories ad product for brands to reach customers
    via sponsored news feed items?

    If you restrict the organic access of most page updates in the news feed you increase the imperative to spend to reach those customers you’d previously reached for free.

    I think it’s a 1-2 punch to drive revenue, hard. I talk more about it here: http://www.pmorganbrown.com/2011/02/facebook-prod

  3. Nick Ver Voort Says:

    Thanks for the heads up on this. Changed it back to the way it was. o_o

  4. sittininlab Says:

    I wondered why there were no technologizer posts in my feed!

  5. David Says:

    Changed to all friends.

  6. David Says:

    I also made the change. Thanks for the heads up.

  7. Nicole Says:

    I changed it back to see everyone's status.

  8. @jwidmer Says:

    This has been happening for quite awhile. It's Facebook's newsfeed algorithm called Edgerank. You can read more about it here: http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/22/facebook-edgeran

  9. Leann Cline Says:

    That's why we're not seeing all our friends posts

  10. Timothy Adams Says:

    This didn't work for me. :-

  11. Margaret Says:

    I've always had my set to show ALL friends, but it never has, and it still doesn't. I don't see posts from more than about 20% of the people on my friend list, regardless of how it's checked, so nothing has changed for me.

  12. Samantha Says:

    I changed it back to everyone. I LIKE seeing what people are up to even if I have nothing to "say" about it.

  13. sueannereed Says:

    Unfortunately, they've also applied this "algorithm" to the feed on company pages. Instead of listing things chronologically, they are listing things based on what they think is important.

  14. Karin Kallmaker Says:

    And getting it very wrong, I might add.

  15. Karin Kallmaker Says:

    I think Morgan nailed it. I admin a couple of pages and the insights have plummeted, not to mention the general activity on my own page. Gee, maybe we need an ad we were wondering… Uh huh.

  16. thelowedown Says:

    Actually that silent newsfeed change was made a long time ago. Before you could choose which, I believe it was 3 or 5 hundred, people/things showed up in the feed. Using that little options thing allowed you to choose all. They've just switched it up to this interact most/all thing.

  17. Raul Says:

    feels like another site that died. They just invented FACESPACE

  18. Harrison Says:

    It sucks.

  19. Lisa Says:

    i agree the new newsfeed is really bad and notr at all good…i just simply detest FB changing things without giving people the option to choose.