Facebook’s News Feed is a bulletin on users’ home pages that automatically broadcasts their friends’ most important activities. It highlights status updates, new photos, events, and all other major happenings.
The launch of the News Feed was controversial. Days after the feature debuted on September 5, 2006, hundreds of thousands of Facebook users created groups protesting the News Feed because they felt it was displaying their information without permission. Although all information on Facebook was entered manually by users and available for only their friends to see, many felt there was a certain “stalker” element to the News Feed. As bloggers began decrying that Facebook’s decision would lead to their demise, news crews camped outside the Facebook offices eager to see what would happen next.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg ultimately wrote a personal letter to all users indicating that Facebook would be adding privacy settings. Since then, News Feed has been an incredible success, with page views skyrocketing since its introduction. The entire fiasco could be viewed as a success, garnering Facebook an incredible amount of press and showing the power of social networks to galvanize support for a cause.