First of all, I am not complaining about the recent changes to Facebook. I am too busy trying to figure out where my friends are and who really is seeing my posts. No, seriously, I am an adult, a relatively intelligent adult. This is supposed to be intuitive. I certainly can intuit. And so my inner voices encourage me to go on.
This is not the article I wanted to write this week, but I just spent an hour on my Facebook page, trying to find my “old” Friends Lists. What I finally discovered was that now I have “Smart Lists.” They are actually in the same place as my old lists, but I didn’t know where that was. Now I not only have the lists of friends that I created for myself (i.e. members of my community, professional colleagues, etc.), now I have the lists that Facebook has made for me: friends from the same schools I went to, friends who live in the same city I do, etc. They have also given me new list options: “Close Friends” and “Acquaintances.” I still have to do research on these.
What good are these Smart Lists of friends? As best as I can figure out, now I can click on a list and see only the posts of the people on that list. While looking at their posts, I can post something that will appear on their News Feeds only. Facebook used to have a feature of Direct Messages which allowed us to send bulk FB messages to all the people on a list (limit 20 at a time). That has been replaced by this new list function—keeping all group activity on Facebook pages, although we can still send FB messages to individuals.
One of the other new features on Facebook is the live activity feed that appears in the right hand sidebar. This is a real-time feed of what my friends are doing on Facebook. So and so and so and so are now friends. So and so commented on whatever. So and so likes something. You get the picture. Below that is the list of my friends indicating who is online and available for a live chat. This makes my page very busy. What I discovered today (as I was doing unplanned research for this article) was that I can hide this sidebar simply by clicking on the hide icon on the bottom of the panel. Great! I really don’t need to know what so and so is doing on Facebook at this very instant. And when I do want to know, I can un-hide this sidebar.
If you are on Facebook, you know what I am talking about. If you are not on Facebook, do not let this keep you back. Jump in and if necessary pre-order Facebook for Dummies (Fourth Edition) which is scheduled to come out November 2011. I’ve ordered my copy. I read the second edition cover to cover. Remember: we are adults, intelligent adults. We can do this!
What is your experience with the latest changes on Facebook?