WSB on FB: About Facebook’s ‘newsfeed’ change…

September 21, 2011 at 9:55 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle online | 18 Comments

WSB has been on Facebook and Twitter for nearly four years – long before most other news organizations (among others) hopped on. We’ve rolled through their changes, and hey, the services are free; they have the right to experiment. We made one big mistake ourselves, starting out on FB as “WS Blog” with a personal profile and maxing out on “friends” before realizing several months ago we really were supposed to be West Seattle Blog” with a no-”fan”-limit page.

But Facebook’s latest change seems to be putting a roadblock in front of people who are just trying to find out “hey, what’s the latest?” …

… and sharing/finding out “the latest” is our mission in life, after all, but in a crazy sort of irony, FB seems to have created a structure in which new news can’t possibly be a “top story” (unless perhaps it immediately generates zillions of “likes,” which hard-news stories are unlikely to do).

In case you hadn’t quite noticed, this is what’s at the heart of the change: Their new inescapable “Top Stories” at the top of the “newsfeed” is something you have to scroll past to see the latest from us, and who knows who else – there’s no more option to just choose “Most Recent.”

We experimented with clicking the little blue triangle on each “top story” to try to tell FB we don’t want any top stories; not sure if that will work. But for now, if you are interested in finding your WSB links via FB, you may just have to bookmark our page and visit it periodically. We don’t link to all WSB stories there, but we do share a lot of other community links, and also short bursts of breaking news, among other content – plus WSB’ers post inquiries and sightings.

WSB on the Web, right here where you’re looking right now, is of course the “mothership” for everything we do (and our thousands of WSB Forums members) so you can always come here first. But we want to continue to serve those who prefer to “find out first” via FB/Twitter presence (and if you’re on Google Plus, since they haven’t created a “business page” option yet, your editor is there as herself – Tracy Record, westseattleblog@gmail.com, direct link here). So we thought we’d mention it here – in case the changes kept you from hearing it there.
–TR, WSB editor

18 Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more with your assessment and resentment of the latest FB changes. It seems as if it gets harder and harder to just go in and find out what people are up to. The price for “free” keeps getting higher :(

    Comment by Alice Kuder — 10:05 am September 21, 2011 #

  2. Huh? I still have on my facebook page a choice at the top of either having it sort by “Top Stories” or “Most Recent”. I’m not experiencing what you are describing.

    Comment by Ted — 10:21 am September 21, 2011 #

  3. There is an option to mark a story as a top story. I’m experimenting with setting some WSB stories as top stories to see if it brings more to the top.

    Comment by Rae — 10:22 am September 21, 2011 #

  4. Ted – lucky you! The only thing I’ve heard about finding a way to default back to that is to choose “UK English” as your language …
    .
    Rae – thank you! I hadn’t happened onto that, only onto the “click on a top story triangle to say you DON’T consider it a top story” …

    Comment by WSB — 10:25 am September 21, 2011 #

  5. I changed my language to UK English yesterday and it fixed the issue, however today it is back to the “new” look/functionality. I am NOT a fan.

    Comment by SJ2 — 10:29 am September 21, 2011 #

  6. I’m still sort of confused, but I do find a little bar that says “everyone most recent” (or you could toggle it to “everyone top posts”). I scrolled through and I *think* it does indeed show the posts going in time order.

    Comment by Renee — 10:33 am September 21, 2011 #

  7. Most recent updates also show up in the upper right corner in chronological order.

    Comment by LSWS — 10:37 am September 21, 2011 #

  8. I tried the whole UK English thing, and it worked for about two clicks, then went back to the new format.

    Comment by Jen — 10:47 am September 21, 2011 #

  9. WSB, thanks for the tip. I just changed to UK English. Much better.

    Comment by Denise — 10:51 am September 21, 2011 #

  10. I’m getting tired of facebook’s insane changes Google + is way better now

    Comment by clark5080 — 10:51 am September 21, 2011 #

  11. I’m trying to get used to Google +. Originally tried to sign up as WSB or WSB editor and they very promptly caught that and suspended the profile – the gmail account is one we have used as an alternative to editor@westseattleblog.com or westseattleblog@yahoo.com for some time – till I reluctantly renamed it as Just Me. Funny that despite the telltale “Blog” in the name, FB never caught or flagged our original “WS Blog” profile, despite having the same “for a profile, you have to be a person” rules. Google may have a better catch-things-automatically algorithm!

    Comment by WSB — 11:02 am September 21, 2011 #

  12. All I do now is check family updates on their individual pages. The news feed is ridiculous and play with the settings all you want, but good luck undoing a change.

    I know it’s a free service and I hope that they realize that, too. I’m not in a contract and have no money invested with them. Adios FB!
    Adios FB advertisers!

    Comment by Lisa — 12:24 pm September 21, 2011 #

  13. Ah yes, a reminder of why I’m not a huge FB fan! Changes!

    .

    I know, that like many internet resources, it’s it’s been beneficial to a lot of people and groups, but they seem to violate the old “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” maxim.

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 2:40 pm September 21, 2011 #

  14. Totally agreed. I don’t need facebook telling me what they think is important. I use BetterFacebook to force it to go chronological, but even then it’s not foolproof.

    Comment by jedifarfy — 2:54 pm September 21, 2011 #

  15. I think it’s been changed back to the previous format. I did notice status updates from pages I don’t frequent.

    Comment by newnative — 4:33 pm September 21, 2011 #

  16. i still have the new format…
    whether i want it or not…
    and i don’t.

    Comment by JoB — 8:42 pm September 21, 2011 #

  17. Facebook is awful – they should call it narcissism.com. I quit in March and will never go back. How did those poor pioneer people ever survive without it? (sarcasm very much intended). Stop complaining, people, cancel your account and pick up a book to read, for goodness’ sake!

    Comment by oldnative — 8:30 pm September 22, 2011 #

  18. On an iPad viewing FB using Safari it still looks the old way, altho it does have the ticker now. My PC shows my page the new way, iPad the old.

    Comment by Wendy — 11:22 pm September 22, 2011 #

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