Well Mark Zuckerberg is at it again… or at least his infrastructure team is. As I mentioned in May, Facebook would be launching a redesign and some are now witnessing the “new.facebook.com” looks, acts, and thinks much differently. It was rolled out last week, and I’ve given it a thorough test drive.
The re-design scared me at first, it looked too much like myspace. Homepage changes include a wider sidebar on the right, and the freakish absence of my beloved left-hand nav. Applications can now be found in the top blue bar or made into bookmarks on your homepage. The overall look comes off as more sloppy I think because the site has grown so many legs in the past year with all the new applications and tools. Where can you put it all? I have to say I am a bit disappointed with this update, but maybe I was expecting too much (after all the company did acquire mozilla’s online OS parakey last year) anyways heres the breakdown:
PROFILE LAYOUT (TABS):
So instead of having a single-paged profile now we have customizable tabbed profiles which is by far the biggest change in the update. For those as confused as I was, profiles were basically enhanced with more information space, new navigation, and an impressive “back-end view” that makes editing a breeze
But what are the benefits of tabs? Profiles are no longer one-stop-shops or billboards for personal information, tabs make personal info and activity a few clicks further away. They have essentially deepened the pool of information here, making users actually have to dive deeper if they want to invade someone’s privacy.
THE WALL & NEWSFEED AS ONE:
Like before the newsfeed still displays stories related to you and your friends and it still shows everything the same as before, such as friend requests or action items (like being tagged in a photo). But the big change here is to give users the ability to toggle which stories are shown at any time by choosing either “Posts by _____”, “Posts by Others”, and “All Posts”, along with moving the wall onto its own dedicated profile tab.
Activity is less transparent, the feed works differently now (reminds me a lot of pownce). The days of landing on a friend’s profile page and stumbling across any back-and-forth conversation with someone else is over. However you still can view users “wall-to-wall” conversations if you want.. but then your just a creep and trust me facebook will know.
Think of this as a widget docked at the top of your homepage. It can add links, photos, videos, notes, updates in a snap and allows 3rd party development access which of course rules but for someone like myself who a whole lot of uploading, its an eyesore! With all the options and preferences out there already, I’d really like the ability to remove this.
The last change I noticed was a new friends page layout, its given a taller left hand navigation list and makes it a little easier to create friend groups, and organize contacts.
If you use Facebook you may notice a lot more information being pushed through the site this year and the recent redesign was built to withstand the wave. The importing of activity from other social websites like flickr, digg, and hulu will play a huge role in connecting social networks. Could this be the year Facebook and Myspace start exchanging info? I doubt that, but its an idea..