On the Ground: Elis call new Facebook ‘messy,’ ‘flustering’

“Susie is this new facebook blows,” Facebook Mini Feeds across campus read this week. Or: “Dan joined the group 1,000,000 strong against the new facebook.”

The social-networking Web site Facebook has switched all its users to a new layout since the end of last week — and some Elis are having a hard time letting go.

“I don’t like the fact that I have to change,” said Jenny Goff ’12, who articulated a common sentiment among the students hanging out on Old Campus on Monday afternoon.

The new Facebook performs all the same functions as its predecessor, but users’ profiles — previously single Web pages — have been divided into three separate tabs: Wall, Info and Photos. The new format, Jules Terrien ’12 said, draws more attention to a person’s wall and what his friends have been writing on it.

“I preferred getting the whole chunk of a person’s personal info on the first page,” Terrien said. “Now it takes a few more clicks to see things like what groups someone is in.”

“A few clicks” may not seem like the end of the world, but since many college students check Facebook between classes — or between sentences as they write papers — speed and usability are of paramount importance to many Elis.

Some students had more specific complaints about the new Facebook.

Matt Schmidt ’12 said he is concerned that he may have lost access to all of the “Bumper Stickers” that friends posted on his profile page. On the new Facebook, only the most recent bumper sticker is visible on a user’s profile.

Perhaps the most obvious change is the combination of the Mini Feed and Wall applications. Now profiles show when a user has written a note, been tagged in a picture or RSVP’d to events, all in chronological order. Keeping tabs on friends, enemies and everyone in between — “Facebook stalking,” as many Yalies call it — has never been easier.

The greater convenience aside, though, many are uncomfortable with the combination of various elements of the old Facebook. Raffi Friedman ’12 said she finds the excess of information “overwhelming.”

“It’s confusing, messy, and it makes me very flustered,” Gaby Jen ’12 added. “It’s annoying.”

But Simon Chaffetz ’12 said he thinks the new look is an improvement.

“You don’t only see friends who are in a person’s principle network. You see all of their friends,” he said. “Also, I prefer that they now have photos that you uploaded yourself and photos of you uploaded by others in the same place.”

And for C.J. Uy ’12, all the whining about the new Facebook is much ado about nothing.

“People are only complaining because it’s new and different,” he said. “We all had the same reaction to the Mini Feed when that was introduced.”

Groups similar to those protesting the new Facebook, Uy said, popped up when the Mini Feed appeared several months ago — and those groups did nothing to persuade Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg to eliminate the Mini Feed.

“They aren’t going to change it back because 1,000,000 kids join something saying they don’t like it,” he said.

Emma Freeman ’10 described the sinking feeling in her stomach when she realized she could no longer go back to the old version.

“My roommate and I were both online and it changed on us at exactly the same second,” she said. “We freaked out.”

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