It’s not quite at the level of what happened recently in Tunisia or Egypt, but it looms like an organized movement of Facebook Page administrators may have gotten the ear of the Great Deaf Giant that Zuckerberg built.
In late February Facebook rolled out a major upgrade to its Pages interface, perhaps the largest number of changes at once since Pages were introduced. Most of the new features were welcomed by page owners. But one left a great many of them scratching their heads in confusion: non-chronological Page Wall posts.
Instead of the top-most post always being the most recent, Facebook installed a mysterious algorithm that determined what would rise to the top. During a live webinar with the Facebook Pages development team, a team member commented that this was done to make Pages more like the Top Stories view on personal news feeds (which Facebook often seems to default to, much to the frustration of many users, myself included).
Judging by online comments, this sent many Page owners from scratching their heads to pulling out their hair. Many expressed that it was vital to the purpose of their pages that they be able to ensure that fans were always seeing the freshest news or content they had posted. There were even stories (almost certainly slightly exaggerated) of animals in animal shelters going to their deaths because posts requesting their adoption got too quickly bumped down the wall.
One Page owner decided to do more than just be mad; she made another Page. But this Page was designed to be rallying point for Page owners wanting to call to Facebook’s attention their dissatisfaction with the loss of control over their Pages. Bring Back Chronological Order on Pages gained over 11,000 fans in just a few days, and those fans were active. Responding to BBCOOP’s various calls to action, the fans posted about the issue on their Pages and personal walls, they blogged about the issue, and they bombarded the official Facebook Pages page with comments petitioning for the restoration of logical order to their pages.
Earlier today rumors started spreading through the BBCOOP community that brief appearances of what appeared to be a new toggle switch were appearing on some pages. In the early evening the truth was confirmed. Page Walls now have the same Top News/Most Recent toggle switch that appears on users’ personal news feeds. The Most Recent setting shows the Page’s wall as it used to be, with all posts in reverse chronological order.
The catch, though, is that users must actively choose the Most Recent option; it is not the default and Page admins can’t set the default. When this realization settles in, it may dampen some of the euphoric celebration happening on the BBCOOP’s wall tonight. It does look like, at least, that once a user selects Most Recent for a Page, Facebook remembers that choice. Page owners will want to encourage their fans from time to time to hit that switch.