September 13, 2011

Facebook Giving Account Notification Summaries a Try


Despite being the king of the hill when it comes to social media, Facebook (News - Alert) isn’t resting on its laurels. While some of the bigger features it continues to trot out like live streaming sporting events get the news, there are other tweaks which get the plaudits. While people find chatting with Oprah on Facebook entertaining, once the chat is over they still have to use the site. 

In this vein, Facebook continues tweaks to the usability of the site. One of their first tweaks was adding a translate button that actually allowed people to go to pages in other languages and easily render the page in their own language. Now there appears to be what could be an even more universally loved feature getting trotted out. The most active of the active Facebook users know how annoying it can get to get 10-15 different emails a day giving you updates. 

When a friend request is accepted, you get an email. When someone comments on your status, you get an email. When someone comments on your wall, you get an email. When someone makes a comment on a thread you commented on a week ago, you get an email. While this feature can be useful for those who aren’t on Facebook more than once a day or for only a few minutes, active users already know most of what has been emailed to them.

Because of this, Facebook is now looking at grouping the same kind of alerts into a kind of “summary” email. This means that if a bunch of people are all commenting on a friend’s thread, instead of getting 20 emails about the comments, you’ll get one email with the 20 comments included. The company announced that they are testing this feature on a post on their wall. 

“We're testing a feature for people who are very active on Facebook and receive lots of email notifications from us we’ll provide a new summary email and turn off most individual email notifications. If you want to turn them back on, there's a control in your account settings.”

The feature is available only to select users at the moment, but will go site wide soon.

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Edited by Jennifer Russell