A poll on Mashable, unscientific but a talking point anyway, found nearly 75-percent saying they "hate" the Facebook news feed changes.
But Mashable readers aside, how big a negative were the changes? To many, the previous changes had been worse so this was at least an improvement. And they added Rhapsody, Spotify and other music libraries with the Facebook timeline, which delighted the same Mashable people who disliked Facebook two days earlier.
UNTHINK.com has 'challenged' Facebook in a video manifesto:
It seems a little like someone on Blogspot 'challenging' Science 2.0 - sort of pointless. Just build a a better site and do a better job and we will be history, no challenge videos needed.
It is still weeks before UNTHINK opens to the public but the new Facebook redesign means the startup wants to make some hay with it. UNTHINK.com wants to be Facebook so they are delighted that Facebook made some changes to its newsfeeds and wants to extrapolate the criticism out to the entire group. There are hundreds of millions of people on Facebook and some people hate change, not the changes- I am one of those people who hated the previous changes but I don't regard that as a dictatorship because I am under no obligation to use their site. Facebook actually has an interesting corporate culture in that if someone internally has an idea and an implementation and convince their peers, Facebook just rolls it out to the public to try it. It has to feel like a lot of empowerment for the developers.
"Social media is at a crossroads and today's Facebook news feed changes underscore that point," says Natasha Dedis, UNTHINK social media founder and CEO. "We have no control and they remind us of it every day. Are we going to continue building on Facebook's dictatorial domain? Are we going to continue building our virtual houses on lots we don't own? Or will we burst Facebook's bubble and regain our autonomy, ownership and freedom?"
It's a lot like what Che Guevara would write if he started a social media company, but he was buried in a ditch in Bolivia.
They want to brand this as a David vs Goliath fight but Facebook was once that underdog so it hardly seems like a great comparison. MySpace and Friendster were both giants Facebook had to beat, yet Facebook knew companies rarely win by negative campaigning so Facebook did not issue press releases and videos ridiculing MySpace, they quietly built a better site.
UNTHINK instead is hammering on what Facebook is not, which is not product planning - you can't build a product around 'we have different terms and conditions'. UNTHINK instead claims they only want to be a 'facilitator' and they are like open source for social media, which is probably appealing to the IRC people who don't use Facebook anyway, but for people who are on Facebook and just want to see pictures of their grandkids, different legal terms are not a feature. Software companies succeed because they do something better, not just different.
The germination of Science 2.0 was hearing the public complain about journalists and hearing scientists complain about journalists - why not make scientists the journalists? We didn't do a press release talking about how immoral Cell and Reuters were, that would have been silly., we just set about providing better content and laying the framework to modernize publication, collaboration and participation along the way.
Facebook can be clobbered easily - make a better product and get 50 million people using it and that enthusiastic minority will be a tipping point for the majority. Google Plus is giving it a shot, with limited success, but they may be too big to be creative. A small company can take down Facebook, like Facebook clobbered MySpace even after they got sold for $500 million and had a multi-billion dollar big media juggernaut behind them. But victories are made by outfighting the other side, not being a public relations pest.
How many are really upset at these new changes after a few days? There's no way to know. But Facebook doesn't seem to be having any Netflix-style exiting over it.