As many of you know, Facebook announced a couple new features yesterday. Quoting their blog

You’ve probably noticed that Facebook looks different today. We’ve added two cool features: News Feed, which appears on your homepage, and Mini-Feed, which appears in each person’s profile.

A facebook group called “Students against Facebook News Feed (Official Petition to Facebook)” was formed to petition facebook to rid itself of the new features. If you’re interested in the description of the group, here it is:

You went a bit too far this time, facebook. Very few of us want everyone automatically knowing what we update. We want to feel just a LITTLE bit of privacy, even if it is facebook. News Feed is just too creepy, too stalker-esque, and a feature that has to go.

We demand that either the feature goes, or that we have an option to remove ourselves from the feature. Nothing people write on our walls, or what we write, or what we update goes up on the “News Feed.” These are small demands of your users, but we are here to complain and protect our privacy.

I know it’s odd to protest facebook through facebook, but this perhaps is the best way for them to get the message.

Until this feature is removed or changed to protect my privacy, I WILL NOT update my profile, and I hope you will too.

So join here, and you’re part of the petition to remove the most undelightful feature to have ever hit facebook.

The uproar over the invasion of privacy is amazing. The official group that is petitioning facebook to get rid of these new features has over 400,000 members and over 21,000 wall posts on the group page. I left my office at about 5:45 today, at which time the group had 390,000 members and 19,000 wall posts. By the time I got home around 6:15, there were 410,000 members and 21,000 wall posts. The beauty of social networks is their ability to spread the word. Where else could you get 20,000 members to join a group within 30 minutes?

Of course, the blogosphere has picked up the story as well. One blog even has a live counter (now over 430,000) of the number of users in the group.

Will this turn out to be a deadly mistake on the part of Facebook? They need to address this ASAP or risk losing many of their users. Lesson- do not blindside your users with features involving privacy! I think this feature could have worked had they eased their users into it and not had it take over their front page.