The Facebook News Feed now adjusts to show you top and most recent posts based on when and how frequently you're checking the Social Network. There is now also a real-time "ticker" that shows you what's happening right this second.
When I logged on to Facebook this morning, I saw several variations of "Yo, dawg! We heard you like Facebook, so we put Facebook in the upper right corner of your Facebook so you can Facebook while you Facebook." posted by my friends. I chuckled. And then I wanted to weep — because this silly joke could not have been a more accurate description of what I was seeing.
(For those unfamiliar with the "Yo, dawg..." meme, it got its start with MTV's "Pimp My Ride" — a TV show in which cars in poor condition were given custom makeovers. At the end of several episodes, one of the hosts — rapper Xzibit — turned to the owners of the vehicles and muttered a recursive statement along the lines of “We heard you like TV, so we put a TV in your car so you can watch TV while you drive." It didn't take long for Internet commenters to start mimicking the phrasing in macro images.)
The reason my friends were making these jokes is because Facebook decided to give the News Feed a makeover in an attempt to make sure that you're always seeing the posts most relevant to you:
Now, News Feed will act more like your own personal newspaper. You won't have to worry about missing important stuff. All your news will be in a single stream with the most interesting stories featured at the top. If you haven't visited Facebook for a while, the first things you'll see are top photos and statuses posted while you've been away. They're marked with an easy-to-spot blue corner.
This change means that — chronological order be darned! — posts which are determined to be "top stories" by Facebook will show up first in your News Feed, followed by the "most recent" links. Additionally, a new real-time "ticker" in the upper right corner of the homepage will keep you posted on things by showing updates, comments, shares, and so on instantly.
Does that sound like information overload?
Based on a quick glance through my friends' posts and at Twitter, many users think so.
Despite the folks at Facebook explaining that they have our best intentions in mind, users don't appear happy about the convoluted new homepage — nor the fact that Facebook is controlling what they're seeing more than they'd like.
Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be much we can do about this latest News Feed makeover (though switching the language option to UK English or Pirate did temporarily bring back the old News Feed for some people), but — for whatever it's worth — Facebook does offer some suggestions on making it slightly tolerable:
If you have a wider screen, slide the grey bar between ticker and chat up or down to adjust how many updates you see at a time. To control who can see your updates anywhere on Facebook, including in ticker and News Feed, adjust your sharing control or apps settings.
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Want more tech news, silly puns, or amusing links? You'll get plenty of all three if you keep up with Rosa Golijan, the writer of this post, by following her on Twitter, subscribing to her Facebook posts, or circling her on Google+.