Facebook 'exploring' unfiltered News Feed changes

Summary:Facebook is looking into changes to the News Feed, as well as expanding 'commenting and liking' features, to appease developers and advertisers.

As sister site CNET reports, it appears that the long awaited 'dislike' button could finally arrive on the world's largest social network.

Though some details are vague, Facebook has confirmed that it is "testing a feature within News Feed that gives people the ability to see what their friends are commenting on a 'liking', as these actions are being taken on Facebook".

"In the coming weeks, as we learn more from this test, we'll keep making improvements and may expand it to more people", a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

This could mean that your News Feed could become a stream of unlimited, unrestricted content from your friends, groups, likes and pages -- even if you have previously hidden them.

But why change something that isn't broken? According to some, it is to appease advertisers and developers, frustrated and annoyed with the lack of user engagement.

This move will likely increase the data going to advertisers and developers based on your selections; something privacy groups have yet to stomach.

CNET believes that Facebook will opt for an unfiltered News Feed approach, which will vastly increase the amount of updates a user will see -- from friends to family, as well as 'likes' and applications.

Though Facebook declined to comment specifically on the 'like' button or any changes, it could be that -- with what goes up, must come down -- a 'dislike' button could hide content based on the users' preferences.

Facebook's trendsetting 'like' button was rolled out in early 2009, for users to express their interest or approval for messages, posts, images and videos. Just as 'lol' acts in a benign way to express a simple enough emotion, the 'like' button has gone down in popular culture, with meme's and products being centered around the button.

But since its inception, the 'like' button has been a crucial role in opening the floodgates between businesses and consumers.

Clicking the 'like' button on Facebook does not just express your approval, but can open your profile up to businesses to engage with -- including major brands, broadcasters and products.

The move will likely annoy users of the site, who often complain when a major change is rolled out.

Related content:

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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