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Facebook blog is inundated with thousands of protests as users start Facebook group 'We Hate the New News Feed'


Facebook is unveiling big changes today in California, including a  music service that lets you listen to your friends' music 'live' - but so far, seems to have largely succeeded in goading its 750 million users into a fury.

Users have been infuriated by this week's overhaul of the site - with some likening it to the disastrous update to news site Digg that led to a wave of protest and a spate of resignations. 

Dozens of Facebook groups have been set up to protest the changes - some with thousands of members. 

On Facebook's official blog more than 7,000 users have offered comments on the new 'update' to the news service - many of them furious rants in capitals - and a mere 1,800 users have 'Liked' the service. 

Usually, the 'Likes' for any new Facebook service vastly outweigh the commentary. 

Tech sites are offering 'workarounds' to disable the new features - and many users have said on Twitter and Facebook that they are switching to using Facebook on smartphones such as iPhone, where the the new News Feed and News Ticker have not yet been added to the apps.

The focus of most people's anger seems to be the arbitrary way in which the site 'chooses' which stories might be 'important' to you - general opinion is that the site seems to invariably choose wrongly. 


The new update to the site 'splits' news into 'top stories' - the company declined to explain how these are chosen for each individual - and a 'news ticker' that crawls up the right side of the screen, adding updates as they come in. 

'I want to choose my own news and my own friends. I do not need Facebook to choose these items for me,' said one commenter.

'News Feed is awful. It's taking me much longer now to find the news I really want, now that Facebook has decided incorrectly that some algorithm knows better than I do,' said another.


'Starting today, it will be easier to keep up with the people in your life no matter how frequently or infrequently you're on Facebook,' wrote Facebook engineer Mark Tonkelowitz on the company's blog.

'When you pick up a newspaper after not reading it for a week, the front page quickly clues you into the most interesting stories. In the past, News Feed hasn't worked like that.  Updates slide down in chronological order so it's tough to zero in on what matters most.  Now, News Feed will act more like your own personal newspaper. You won't have to worry about missing important stuff.'

News ticker - unveiled at the same time - works more similarly to the old News Stream, but many users find it distracting, and more akin to the relentless speed of the less popular rival Twitter. 

So far, it seems to be equally unpopular. 

It's thin, moves rapidly - and makes the home page rather crowded. 

'I don't like it. Too much info in one screen,' said one user.

'The news feed just seems like more complication,' said another. 

'Make it stop! Please God make it stop!' pleaded another.
 
Other developments set to be unveiled in the coming hours on the social networking site include Facebook Music - a service which allows users to listen to the same songs as their friends at the same time thanks to a 'Listen with your friend' ticker on the right side of the page.

Details of Facebook Music were revealed, ironically on Twitter, by its creative director Ji Lee, who tweeted last night: 'The 'Listen with your friend' feature in ticker is blowing my mind. Listen to what your friends are listening. LIVE.'

News ticker, though, should just be the first of a number of changes to Facebook this week - in advance of the company's F8 conference which launches at 10am PDT (5pm GMT).

Facebook will reportedly include new ways of showing your appreciation for your friend's links, videos, and endless pictures of new babies, in its revamp to be unveiled on Thursday.

Mark Zuckerberg unveils innovations at an earlier f8 conference - but will this year's 'improvements' be popular?
Mark Zuckerberg unveils innovations at an earlier f8 conference - but will this year's 'improvements' be popular?

Alongside ‘like’, users will have the option of clicking ‘read’, ‘watched’ and ‘listened’. In the future a ‘want’ button may also be added. 

Other improvements which will reportedly be made public at the F8 conference include a revamp of the iconic profile page and tie-ins with a string of major media companies.

Facebook is expected to use the event to reassert its dominance after the launch of Google+, its newest competitor, which has 25million users in three months - still a  tiny hudle of curious geeks in comparison to Facebook's 750 million regular users. 

The rumour mill has inevitably gone into overdrive but multiple technology websites have reported an expansion of Facebook’s ‘like’ button.

Upgrade: One of the new features is the Top Story - which Facebook somehow works out is the most important story in your news feed
Upgrade: One of the new features is the Top Story - which Facebook somehow works out is the most important story in your news feed

Update: As usual, the new features in Facebook are meeting with a lot of criticism
Update: As usual, the new features in Facebook are meeting with a lot of criticism

Part of this would be a real-time stream or ‘ticker’ of what a user’s friends were listening to or doing at that very moment - a service similar to that already offered by apps such as GetGlue, which offer users the chance to 'share' previously antisocial experiences such as watching TV alone. 

Analysts have said that by doing this it will give Facebook even more data about its users and enable them to target adverts with greater precision than they can now.

Facebook is also expected to launch a platform which will allow users to share films, videos and pictures, effectively turning the user’s homepage into an entertainment hub.

Budding photographers could also be able to adjust their photos with filters and effects in a direct threat to websites like Instagram.

Facebook could also unveil its first iPad app - despite the iPhone app being a phenomenal success it has still not released one on its successor. Hackers said that there was already a functioning iPad app 'hidden' within the code of the iPhone one, so this seems highly likely. 

There is also widespread speculation that there will be some kind of tie-in with music sharing websites Spotify or Deezer and even film rentals direct from the website in a partnership with Netflix and Hulu.

Other partners could include Yahoo in a role which will be unveiled at the conference.

Arch-rivals Google's Plus network is seen as a direct attack on Facebook - but Mark Zuckerberg is unlikely to take it lying down, unveiling a huge suite of new features for his all-conquering social network
Arch-rivals Google's Plus network is seen as a direct attack on Facebook - but Mark Zuckerberg is unlikely to take it lying down, unveiling a huge suite of new features for his all-conquering social network

Although Facebook is still the world’s largest social networking site with 750million users, it has been under pressure from Google and other media sites for a number of months, especially since the launch of Google+.

Commentators have noted that Facebook’s Smart Friends list looks similar to Circles on Google+, prompting some to ask if it has run out of ideas.

Mashable's Ben Parr has claimed that Facebook has drawn up a ‘major’ profile redesign that may be to do with an HTML5 platform called Project Spartan.

Such a move would be a bold statement that the company is prepared to look at everything in a bid to appear fresh and relevant.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2039726/Facebook-changes-Thousands-protests-We-hate-new-news-feed-group.html#ixzz1Yi1acBKE

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