The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Facebook gets a controversial facelift

It happened again. Facebook users logged in to catch up on their friends’ activity, only to find the social networking site completely different than when they left.

Immediately, users updated their statuses and vowed they would leave Facebook forever in favor of another social networking site, in protest of the ever-changing website.

But most users probably did not leave.

Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world, boasting over 800 million active users, according to Facebook statistics, and plans to remain that way.

At Facebook’s annual developers conference last week, F8, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced new changes to the site, “to make the world more open and connected.”

The changes will allow you to, “connect to anything you want in any way you want,” Zuckerberg said.

The site partnered with multimedia services Spotify, Rhapsody, Hulu and Netflix to make Facebook a one-stop online media hub. Now, users can listen to music and watch videos without ever leaving Facebook.

After using the new applications to watch videos or listen to music, users are able to tell their friends about different media interactions with the addition of “listen”, “watch”, “read” and “want” buttons.

But the new applications aren’t the source of user frustration. Rather, it’s the changes in layout.

The news feed is no longer entirely chronological — Facebook now tries to feature stories it deems most interesting to users by placing them in a “top story” feed.

Also, the newly added ticker provides a continuous, chronological and lightweight stream of friends’ activity. The ticker is placed to the right of birthday and event notifications, with the chat box below it.

Facebook users are not enthusiastic about the changes, and many feel they are unnecessary.

Anna Hill, a freshman in the College of Communication, sees the changes as annoying and feels the site was fine the way it was. She said she logs into Facebook less often because she does not want to deal with the changes.

“I don’t like knowing what everyone is doing every second,” Hill said.

Hill said she now uses the micro-blogging site Tumblr more than Facebook because the product stays consistent.

Caroline Collins, a sophomore in the College of Education, said she feels less like using Facebook since the changes made the site more confusing to use.

Collins said she considered deleting her Facebook account but decided not to because she was unsure how she would communicate with many of her friends and classmates. She said after the changes she has used the site less to “stalk” and more to communicate.

Emily Isaksson, a first-year graduate student in speech pathology, said she is not panicking about the changes but does not like them either.

Isaksson said “the changes were overwhelming,” especially those made on the homepage.

The changes to Facebook coincide with the new public availability of the latest social networking site, Google+.

Google+ is a social networking site with more than 43 million users. It provides a simple chronological news feed, a +1 button to indicate things around the web users like and does not contain video or music applications.

Alec Gryen, a freshman in the College of Business Administration, said he plans on making a Google+ account very soon because of the site’s simple layout.

Despite his plans to migrate to Google+, Gryen is not quite ready to abandon Facebook altogether.

“I need (my Facebook account) to connect with friends because everyone is on (Facebook),” Gryen said.

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