Facebook boycott called as millions blast new design

Almost 2.7 million Facebook members have joined a group opposed to the site's redesign and planned a boycott.

A Facebook group formed for those opposed to the site's new design is nearing 2.7 million supporters, and the leaders are organizing a two-day boycott to bring their point across.

The group, called "1,000,000 against the new Facebook layout," has greatly exceeded the expectations in its title and is encouraging its supporters to stay off Facebook during the weekend of Oct. 18 and Oct. 19.

It's not the only Facebook group created to protest the new design, which, according to Facebook, has now become the default for almost all of its members. Another group called "Petition Against the New Facebook" has more than 1.6 million backers, while the group "I hate the new Facebook" has 1.5 million supporters.

It's likely that there is a lot of overlap among these groups' supporters, but if the largest group contains all of those opposed to the new design, that's still a significant number of unhappy members. Facebook has 100 million active users.

Facebook has been monitoring these groups, tracking the complaints and reaching out to some of the leaders, a spokeswoman for the company said. Facebook is receptive to feedback from its members, values their enthusiasm for the site and is taking their suggestions into account for future design improvements, she said.

Jessica Fishbein, a high school teacher who is one of the administrators of the group with more than 2.6 million backers, begs to differ. "Facebook, which normally cared about the feedback of people, just made this decision, didn't really care what the users thought and isn't really responding to feedback," she said in an interview. "People are very upset."

Fishbein said that neither she nor the group's other administrator had been contacted by Facebook, although Fishbein has written to the company with links and information about the group and asking for help. She said she and her fellow administrator had to oust the group's creator after he tried to profit from its massive popularity for commercial reasons. Indeed, they haven't been able to scrub his commercial pitch from the group description, despite asking Facebook for help, she said.

Fishbein, like many redesign critics, dislikes the new tabbed interface because she feels it forces people to do too much clicking around to see and find things. She preferred the more consolidated look and feel of the old design. She also finds the overall effect of the new design to be "very in-your-face," whereas the previous layout was, in her view, less strident and more discreet.

Fishbein realizes that Facebook is unlikely to revert to its old design, but she feels the company could earn a lot of points with its members if it acknowledges the main criticisms and makes modifications.

"The goal is to send a strong signal to Facebook. For every person that takes the time to join this group, there are more out there who are upset," said Fishbein, who has been a Facebook user for about two years and is administrator of another group devoted to ending hate speech.

Fishbein said it would be good to give members the option to toggle back and forth between the old and new interfaces, as it did for about two months between July and September. However, the Facebook spokeswoman said that this is unfeasible for technical reasons. It would make it complicated and cumbersome for Facebook and for developers who create applications for the site, she said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Facebook

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?