Facebook Just Might Be Picking Your Friends 1

You can pick your friends, and you can pick you Facebook friends — but can you really?  Facebook has made a subtle change recently that may be changing the way you interact with your friends.  The first major change that we all noticed was the News Feed vs. Live Feed.  If you are like me and just about all of my friends, you probably check Facebook about 400 times per day.  That means you have now adapted and have become a Live Feed viewer.  This was hard enough, and spawned seemingly hundreds of “Return Facebook to the Way It Was” groups and petitions.  We survived ,somehow and I have been plodding along.  Until this weekend.

I was reading a status update from a friend and noticed another friend had commented.  I thought it had been a long time since I had seen any updates from this guy, and he was usually a frequent contributor.  I checked his wall, and lo and behold, he’d been up to his normal posting.  Why had I not seen any of these updates?  I went to check my friend list, just to make sure we hadn’t parted ways without my knowledge; he was still there. 

I quickly put on my C.S.I. hat and began an investigation.  That’s when I discovered the changes.  Facebook now picks a number of friends that it thinks you can follow (mine is 250) and allows those people to make it to the Live Feed page.  That’s right, Facebook decides who you want to hear from without any input from you — or any  notice, for that matter.  Nice, eh? 

The good news is that you can change this setting, but it is not easy to find.  The logical place to effect the change seems like it would be in Account Options, but that’s not the case.  Instead, if you scroll all the way to the bottom of the Live Feed page, you will see the following:

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Click Edit Options and you will be taken to the following page.  Here, you can change the number of friends that you will be shown in your Live Feed.

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Check out the link the arrow is calling attention to in the next screenshot — View Recommended Friends.  Ladies and gentlemen, that’s Facebook creating a whole new realm of self-esteem problems as we struggle with the realization that we might not be good enough to be recommended.

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Take back your friends list, and pretend that Facebook isn’t about to change it all again with a new interface — very soon.  They are, but it’s like death and taxes…  Look on the bright side; it will give us some new groups and causes to join, and me something to write about. 

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