Over the past week there has been a significant increase in backlash against the new Facebook design. Two groups in particular are rapidly nearing the 1 million user mark: Petition Against the “New Facebook” and I Hate the New Facebook. The groups have 800,000 and 700,000 respectively and they are both growing extremely fast. So how does this compare to the news feed backlash a few years back?
At the time, Facebook still had around 15 million users and more than 750,000 joined a group which protested the news feed launch. Given that it was a much larger fraction of the site, Facebook decided to implement more controls for users to manage what types of stories would show up in their friends’ feeds. This time around Facebook has learned about managing user backlash.
The reason for the sudden surge in members protesting the new design was last week’s announcement by Facebook to transfer all of the users over to the new profile. While it appears that these groups continue to grow, they will surely need to surpass the multiple millions before Facebook starts to pay attention. It’s pretty clear that Facebook has no intention of switching back to the old design.
Facebook hopes that users will simply get used to the new design. We’ll have to wait and see if the backlash quiets down or if we see a continued surge in the number of users in the groups.