As the Facebook management continues their ongoing march to make up for failing to buy Twitter by copying features from Twitter and FriendFeed, there seems to be a grim inevitability about the way each new change is greeted.
First off there is usually a cheery posting on their blog explaining how theyâ€™ve made it a whole load easier to use the site, this is usually swiftly followed by loads of complaints, and protest groups. However, this is generally to no avail, the changes stay, as do most of the people complaining â€“ which is after all what Facebook and their advertisers are interested in.
So what is the change this time? Theyâ€™ve updated the friend pages to make it even easier to group your friends into lists, which you can then use to filter the home feed. The problem being that in doing so theyâ€™ve taken out two tabs that showed recent status updates, and which a lot of people used to get a quick overview of all the statuses of all their friends. Neither Twitter or FriendFeed have such a page, so obviously Facebook doesnâ€™t need one either.
The Facebook argument is that you should be getting this information from the home feed â€“ the problem of course is that the home feed is so full of application spam that you can barely find status updates, and whilst you can spend time going through the filters to try and get a simple status list itâ€™s not nearly as convenient as a single page list of everybody.
Facebook claims they are listening to their users, but the fact is that the vast majority of their users arenâ€™t the ones who participate in feedback groups. Essentially it seems they are following a minority who want a Twitter clone, at the expense of those who want Facebook as it is. If they had any sense Facebook would be looking at how the average user uses the site through their stats â€“ it seems that there are a large number of users who come in and used to go straight to the recent status updates page.