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Facebook Responds To Protests Over New Features With Possible Solution

After two days of intense negative reaction by many subscribers, Facebook told the WSJ it will allow users more control over what kind of information will be shared via its new News Feed and Mini-Feed features. The company also may provide a no-info-at-all option. Spokeswoman Melanie Deitch made all the right noises with the Journal, saying the company has learned it needs to seek more input from users in the future, do a better job of explaining new features and educating about privacy options. Too soon to tell, this gesture is enough to assuage the concerns of the hundreds of thousands who protested in some way.
Matched with the right actions, though, her comments suggest Facebook could be on the verge of a sea change in its relationship with subscribers. Instead of the response from founder Mark Zuckerburg earlier this week telling people to calm down and offering vague assurances that complaints were being heard, it sounds like realization may finally have seeped in that top-down doesn’t always work even when the features are cool.
That’s been one of the points in a thoughtful discussion going on in our comments. James H. suggests it all could have been avoided with some forethought and that Facebook might be better off with a more experienced CEO. Joseph says its features put Facebook “miles ahead” of sites like MySpace and thinks the users will come to appeciate the new feeds. Another interesting thread on the subject is underway in Fred Wilson’s comments.
Related: Some Users Find New Facebook Features “Creepy”
More On Facebook: Can A Network Be Too Social?