I’ve asked Facebook why they’ve made configuring the News Feed so difficult in the current mobile redesign and I’ll update this post if I get an answer. But even if only a minority of users want to read their News Feed in chronological order, and even if there are clear business reasons for the changes, that still doesn’t excuse the outright hostility Facebook is expressing to its users in the most recent “most recent” update. The redesign is a flipped middle finger aimed directly at users who just want to do the most natural thing anyone wants to do with a piece of software: configure it to serve their own interests.
But this is the game Facebook has always played. Routinely changing privacy defaults to make user information more public. Removing functionality from the core app to push users to other Facebook services. Transforming user likes into sponsored advertisements without asking permission from users. The only surprise about the latest design change is just how much effort Facebook went to hide the “Most Recent” option this time around. I’m puzzled as to why the company didn’t not just remove it all together. At least that would be honest.
This is the case with the Android app, too. I don’t mind, though: Facebook’s abysmal failure of ad placement in the mobile app (after all, why would I want to go to a seafood restaurant, in say, Memphis, TN?) gives me plenty of material to post here.