The social media giant has been pretty busy, not with major announcements but small updates that will go a long way in making a difference in our perceptions and how we use the platform. Here are two of the most significant recent updates that set the internet abuzz:
New Facebook Friends Icon Propagates Gender Equality
This one was probably a long time coming. Facebook has recently updated its Friends and Group icons to reflect gender equality in more ways than one. While many are calling it a feminist move, a detailed look at the new icon will show that though both are now shoulder to shoulder instead of the previous icon where a slightly smaller woman was placed behind the larger man. It was a new designer for Facebook, Caitlin Winner, who decided to highlight this issue of gender bias by altering the icon to put the woman in front with the man beside her, not behind.
According to Winner, her education in a woman’s college made it hard to ignore the earlier symbolism where the woman was in the shadow of the man. The group icon also received a facelift with the woman in front, a man to her right and a non-gender icon to the left.
News Feed Update to see Best Friends‘ Updates First
The new News feed twist offers greater control to the user over what they want to see in their streams. People can now choose which close friends’ and brands’ updates they want to see first. Greg Marra, product manager at Facebook explained it in the following terms, “We rank [items in] your news feed with the goal that whether you have five seconds or five minutes, you’re seeing the best of what’s in your feed. We know we don’t always get that perfect right now.”
So now there is a ‘see first’ option as well as another feature to allow people to explore new brand pages, unfollow friends’ or other user’s posts without unfriending them. According to the company these changes are a direct result of a feedback survey conducted last year.