September 30, 2011 By BJ Cook,
If you haven’t already heard or seen about the Facebook changes, then really what are you doing with your life? Actually living one? Not cool. Facebook is rapidly changing their look offering more features, and removing old ones. With these changes come complaints, confusion, and curiosity as to how these features work and how much of their information is going to be shared. Facebook engineers have been working on these changes for a while and on September 22, Mark Zuckerberg announced all of the upcoming updates that will slowly make their way to your account.
Here is a list of the major changes and their descriptions to ease you into the Facebook of the future: Timeline The new timeline feature has not yet been made public but is one of the biggest changes to come. This feature will basically turn your account into an online scrapbook pinpointing specific big events and showcasing them through pictures, statuses, or check-ins. An algorithm determines what is deemed as important, along with anything else you may want to check as important. You can also go back and fill-in old dates up to your date of birth if you choose. Zuckerberg described that currently Facebook does a good job of telling friends who you are now, but not what you’ve done in the past. This aims to solve that problem. Cover Photo A new look is coming to profile pages,  one of the new features you will see is the cover photo. This is just one large photo of your choice, at the top of your profile page. This gives the page a new fresher face-lift, slightly resembling a blog. News Feed The News Feed has been one of the current changes to your page. The “Most Recent” news feed has been pushed down to make room for “Top Stories” in which Facebook has an algorithm to find what news is most relevant and important to you. Although many say it is inaccurate and random, it just started and will take some time to get into full swing. The algorithm incorporates who you contact the most frequently, along with what has the most likes and comments among other variables. The goal here being if you don’t use Facebook very often or were away, the most interesting news from your friends would be the first information you see when you log-in next. The more frequently you use Facebook the more recent those stories are. Basing this idea off of a newspaper set-up, where the front page has all of the headlining stories. Side Ticker In contrast to the “Top Stories” feed which holds the important news, the side Ticker holds less important updates from friends. Updates such as involvement in a game, or liking a new page which are considered to be annoying news. However, you can already see the Ticker on your page and many find it in itself disruptive and distracting. Another issue to point out on the Ticker is you are able to click on and see friend’s comments to non-friends. Privacy issues must be re-examined to see how this can be prevented.
Open Graph Open Graph might change the whole Facebook playing field. This allows people to share what they are doing and friends are able to join in. Say for example you are listening to a great new band, you share this on Facebook and a friend can join in exactly on the part of the song are you listening to. As if you were together. All of which can be done through the creation of new apps for Facebook particularly good for industries such as communication publications, music, videos, games, and lifestyle interests. With the new set of apps, you won’t even have to leave Facebook to explore them, they will be right inside of Facebook encouraging you to never leave the site with everything you might possibly want right there. Permissions Along with the new set of apps comes a new permission privacy setting, where apps only need to ask for your permission one time and never again. This is alarming to many users, and needs to be further looked into once the apps begin surfacing. Just keep in mind who you are giving permission to. Now you have a little insight as to what is coming on Facebook; some good and some not so good features. How are these changes going to affect Google+? Will any of the features be altered or removed? Only time will tell, until then like our Facebook page to keep up with these changes and others at or if you have any other Social Media inquiries let your friends at Digital Operative help you out!

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