Facebook Brings Back Reverse Chronological “Most Recent” View to Page Walls

Facebook has returned the “Most Recent” tab to Page walls, allowing users to view a reverse chronological stream of updates by the Page and its fans. The removal of this version of the wall was the most criticized change in the February 2011 Page redesign. Users can choose to switch between the Most Recent and the relevancy filtered “Top Posts” view, but admins can’t currently set Most Recent as the default view.

The change will please some unhappy admins who argued that the relevancy filter surfaced comments that were too old, especially admins whose Pages focus on current events.

Last month’s Page redesign included significant changes to the Page wall. Instead of the option to show users the Most Recent real-time stream of updates, admins could only show the Everyone view, which surfaced recent posts by friends, posts by other users in same language or country, and posts that have received a lot of Likes and comments. This sometimes surfaced comments that were days older than the latest comments.

Only admins could see a Most Recent view, which helped them make sure they’d read every post for moderation purposes.

Facebook has now renamed the Everyone view “Top Posts”, the name Facebook tested the relevancy view under in January. When admins set “All Posts” as the default view for their wall in the Edit Page admin interface, the Top Posts tab appears first.

When users are viewing Top Posts, they’ll see a drop-down menu in the top right corner of the Page wall allowing them to switch to Most Recent. This displays the latest posts by other users and the Page at the top of the stack, with no relevancy filtering.

Users will see a Page’s wall display the same tab as it last showed. So if they switch from Top Posts to Most Recent, leave the site, then come back, they’ll still see the wall display the Most Recent tab. This persistent wall state works the same way as the Top News and Most Recent tabs for the news feed, which similarly maintain state between visits.

There’s currently no way for admins to make the Most Recent tab appear first instead of the Top Posts tab when they set All Posts as the default view for their wall. Since Most Recent is now a public view, Facebook has removed the tab from the Admin view, and now shows admins a direct link to moderate”Hidden Posts” in the navigation menu.

The change shows that Facebook is paying close attention to feedback on product changes. It clearly wants Pages using a relevancy filtered wall, as this obscures especially low quality posts that might otherwise appear prominently. These low quality posts bore visitors and dissuade brands from advertising for their Pages.

The compromise of allowing admins to display a Most Recent view but not by default will quiet critics while still furthering Facebook’s goal of surfacing compelling content that sparks conversation and doesn’t repel brands.

[Thanks to Eti Suruzon for the tip.]