Major Facebook Changes Imminent

By September 22, 2011 News, Social Media

Facebook Changes September 2011

What do new updates like subscribing to your contacts, a new and “improved” friends list, and a news feed that updates in real time have in common? They’re not finished products – Facebook isn’t done.

These three elements added to the social world of Facebook are merely new cogs installed into an engine that is for the most part, being completely revamped today as Facebook is preparing to announce major profile additions at the f8 conference.

Recently, and I mean like yesterday recently, people were spewing their frustration for Facebook’s new updates all over a brand spanking new news feed – kind of ironic, right (these reasons alone may be why Facebook doesn’t have a dislike button… who knows, maybe that’s what is being introduced today?).

And just a day later, Facebook will cause more ruckus by announcing humongo changes to their social networking world that we have grown so accustomed to (barring any of these new updates – we’re just now getting used to those).

Ben Parr of mashable predicts the future of Facebook:

“On Thursday, developers will be elated, users will be shellshocked and the competition will look ancient. On Thursday, Facebook will be reborn. Prepare yourselves for the evolution of social networking.”

This sounds kind of apocalyptic and campy, but exciting! With over 750 million users, Facebook has integrated itself into the everyday lives of an eighth of the planet. What else could they want? They’ve basically built a virtual planet full of virtual people, virtual businesses and virtual cats…yes, there are even cats complete with their own profiles and friends on Facebook.

Despite the excitement and skepticism behind one of these major announcements, a large number of Facebook’s 750 million users tend to react in a fairly predictable manner.

Initially, many users barrage their feed with hate statuses about what is going on, as if the very existence of the virtual world is dependent upon their thoughts and ideas – in a way, it really is, but that’s a discussion for another time.

After emotional outbursts of varying degrees, these same users that had hated Facebook then segregate themselves into two groups, quitters and well, non-quitters (sorry for the lack of imagination).

Quitters are the minority. They leave Facebook because they told their friends they would (who doesn’t like accountability?). However, the majority of this minority comes back. Why? Call it stock, equity or even addiction. They realize how much time they’ve spent updating their relationship statuses, writing posts, “like”-ing their friends’ relationship statuses, and playing games during class or work – time management. In short, they’ve spent way too much of their time on their profile to just “off” it.

On the other hand, non-quitters consist of users who are either complainers or good sports (good sports also include those who just don’t care). They aren’t brash enough to click the little arrow in the upper right corner (to the right of their name), click account settings, click security settings (on the sidebar to the left), and click “deactivate account” just because they’re emotionally distraught. I’ll be honest, I’ve quit in the past, but I keep coming back mainly because Facebook is like the late television series, The Sopranos. Once you’re in the game, it’s near impossible to leave. The bright side is you have far less at stake leaving Facebook than “Febby” did ratting out Paulie’s crew (google it).

The point is, is that all of us have invested too much of our time into Facebook to just quit and leave for good. No matter what happens today, users will complain, people will quit, and then they will come back. It’s a vicious cycle. The question is, are you a good sport who is willing to take a step back in order to take ten steps forward? Or, are you going to furiously punch enter or return on your keyboard after writing an emotionally charged message to all of your friends that you quit and Facebook is dumb?

No matter what happens, all we can do is just sit back and see what our virtual world transforms into next.


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