It's not just you: Facebook shrinks its font

Users take to Twitter to voice their frustrations over smaller type size

Before you make an appointment with your eye doctor, it's not your eyes. It's Facebook.

Earlier this week, Facebook, without notice to users, changed the font size on its highly popular social networking site. The type now is much smaller and users are complaining that it's hard to read.

Many users have taken to Twitter to vent their frustrations.

Laurie tweeted, "COME ON @facebook that font is just WAY too small for my old eyes. quit being mean and fix it!" And Checkthpavement tweeted, "Oh gods your font is small *squints* can you take it up a notch perhaps? Don't wanna hold my computer to my face."

Karen Maeby seemed to joke, tweeting, "Zuckerberg probably made the font so small so people will struggle to read about FB privacy and eventually give up."

In an e-mailed response to Computerworld, Facebook said the small font size is something of an experiment.

"We are constantly testing new ways to make the site more efficient for people," said Andrew Noyes, a Facebook spokesman. "We listen to feedback and always try to incorporate it in future product updates, releases and features."

Noyes did not say whether Facebook would change the type back to a larger font based on negative user response. He also did not say how the smaller font would make the site more efficient.

"Well, I can see that it could make them a little more efficient, if they put more items on each page, but they could also just make the pages longer," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "Maybe they meant more efficient for users to see more of the postings at one time."

Browser settings could also have an effect on the size of the fonts. While most people see the smaller type size, some do not.

These changes can be reverted by installing the Web browser plug-in Better Facebook, which lets users define a custom font size.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com .

Read more about web 2.0 and web apps in Computerworld's Web 2.0 and Web Apps Topic Center.

This story, "It's not just you: Facebook shrinks its font" was originally published by Computerworld.

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