What was the Facebook ticker?
The Facebook ticker was a sidebar feed on the Facebook website when you were browsing on a desktop computer. When it came out a lot of people hated it, as it would display your public activity to your friends. Sometimes you just wanted to comment on a news article without your entire list of friends knowing about it. Many people did not enjoy this seeming invasion of privacy, but there were a lot of people that enjoyed keeping up to date on their friend’s activities. The Facebook ticker is now gone, and it has left people wondering why.
How did the Facebook ticker appear?
According to the help files, “Facebook Ticker only appeared when your network of friends and connections met a certain threshold of activity. The ticker would appear as you connect with more friends, subscriptions, and pages.”
What did this mean? Well, say you only have 50 friends on Facebook (like my husband who is constantly purging his account, even deleting all of my siblings, because they don’t interact much on Facebook). If those 50 friends don’t do a whole lot on Facebook, as in they aren’t “liking” pages or statuses, or even commenting on statuses and things like that, then Facebook has decided that you didn’t really NEED the Facebook ticker, as there will barely be any activity to display in the ticker.
What was the purpose of the Facebook ticker?
The Facebook ticker was to allow you to see these interactions in real time so it didn’t cloud up the news feed. Prior to the ticker, in your news feed you’d see, “so and so likes Family Tech Zone, or “so and so is now friends with Sarah”. This made actual status updates get buried for people who had a lot of friends that interact on Facebook. Now that data moves fast and does so over on the ticker. For people that have a lot of friends, this is very helpful, as it can be ignored over there on the sidebar, or you can hide it.
How could you force the Facebook ticker to appear or disappear?
You could hide the ticker when it’s in your chat sidebar, you have to hide the entire chat sidebar. To do this, you simply click on the icon located at the bottom right of the chat sidebar that says “Hide Sidebar”. If you wanted it to return, you just click on the bar at the bottom that says “chat” (almost in the exact same spot as where you initially clicked to hide it.
What happens now is that the ticker will move to your homepage. When you click on the “Facebook” button on the top left of the screen it brings you back to your homepage. This will have your newsfeed, and of course your ticker if you have hidden the chat sidebar. If you do like I do though, and have separated your friends status updates from the pages you follow, and just use those lists (refer to how to separate your newsfeed here) You won’t ever see the ticker, as you are no longer using the homepage as your source for status updates (unless of course the Chat Sidebar is open)
So, if you are missing the Facebook ticker, and you would like to have it, find more people to friend on Facebook, or make your current friends interact more. Simple as that, right?
Why did Facebook disable the ticker?
As of December of 2017, Facebook officially claimed the feature was no longer available. The feature has been removed for quite some time, but there was never an official announcement about its demise. In the absence of an official statement, people are left guessing why the company decided to remove the feature.
One reason could be the privacy issues Facebook is already facing. Even when people willingly give their information to the company, they are shocked when that information is actually being used to target them for advertisements. Removing a feature that is widely seen as a slight invasion of privacy is probably a good move in light of today’s issues with social media platforms.
Another reason the company likely removed the ticker is that many people are no longer browsing the site on a desktop computer. The Facebook ticker was never available for mobile devices anyway, and it seems pointless to continue to improve a feature that less than half of your users will actually use anyway.
What did Facebook put in its place?
The Facebook ticker was replaced with quick access to apps and games your friends are playing. Luckily, that only fills less than a quarter of the sidebar, and the rest is comprised of easy access to chat with contacts that are online via Messenger.
So, farewell Facebook ticker, we’ll just have to wait to see what kind of privacy-invading features Mark Zuckerberg will come up with next.
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com