Friday, July 22, 2011

New Facebook Features Prompt User Complaints

Facebook users might have noticed the site has added several new features to comments which include embedded videos, photos, and even a preview of posted links. Not all of these changes however have not sat well with users who are speaking out about the changes and asking that the company stop tinkering with new features and fix some of the ongoing issues, mainly the new chat system.

Facebook recently made the announcement about the new changes within its Facebook Photos page, which was immediately hit with thousand of complaints from users about the new Chat system.

The new Chat feature looks similar to the old version at first glance but the interface adds some new features as well as a few new ways of chatting, which has not set well with all users.

Previously, the simple chat system would show a list of online friends in a small box on the lower right side of the browser window. It was easy to use, staid well out of the way and was unobtrusive.

The new chat sidebar is far from unobtrusive. It stretches from top to bottom on the right side of the window. The friends list is no longer a small list of only those who are online, but rather a group of people Facebook thinks you'll want to speak to, regardless of whether they're online.

There is no option to edit the list of people in this area. If those predetermined "top" friends aren't online, the chat box has an option to send them a message. Online friends not on this list must be searched for manually, which to say the least, is slightly frustrating.

The chat feature isn't the only one being attacked by users. Many complaints have surfaced about the new photo viewer. The "theater" view makes it harder to view albums to select only a few images to sort through rather than having to scroll through all of them. It also makes viewing comments harder.

I suspect now that we are seeing the addition of extra content in general we'll see more users complaining that their pages are becoming overly convoluted with content. Many of these changes and complaints smack of the early days of MySpace when then site was going through growing pains and we all know how that turned out.

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