Facebook Redesign: the Good, the Bad, and the Indifferent
Facebook rolled out their latest web design on October 23 and already a group called “CHANGE FACEBOOK BACK TO NORMAL” has rallied. But then, no one expected the change to be welcomed by 100 percent of FB users even though FB claims that they based their decision to make it on user feedback. And, hey, there are just some people who hate change of any kind.
Facebook has introduced the ability to toggle between News Feed (self-explanatory) and Live Feed, which is the same real-time feed from your friends to which you’ve become accustomed. Facebook uses a new algorithm that bases the News Feed sources and stories they display on your past history on the site and how much attention the stories have received from your friends. Kind of like Amazon’s “if you like that you might also like this” and “people who bought that also bought this” functions. It is basically putting certain features back the way they were before the March redesign, such as:
• friend acceptances
• event RSVPs
• group memberships
Here is Facebook’s explanation of the major changes:
When you log into Facebook, you’ll see the most interesting things that happened in the last day in the “News Feed” view. News Feed picks stories that we think you’ll enjoy based on a variety of factors including how many friends have liked and commented on it and how likely you are to interact with that story.
Once you’ve caught up on what you missed, you can click through to “Live Feed” to see what’s happening right now. As long as you remain logged into Facebook, you’ll continue to see posts and activity from your friends in real-time. You can edit what appears in this view by clicking “Edit Options” at the bottom of the home page.
Birthdays and events have taken on more importance, appearing larger in the right column of the home page. And on each member’s birthday, a pop-up version of Facebook’s “gifts” application appears on that user’s profile so that friends can buy “virtual” gifts to send.
One change that users really can’t complain about is that the site’s home page loads faster. And advertisers will appreciate that on their “fan” pages there will be data about what a user’s friends have done, which will increase their exposure and word-of-mouth advertising.
In this redesign, Facebook eliminates the publisher box, replacing it with an “Update Status” button in the upper right corner. This frees up more space in the center column for friends’ wall posts, photos, updates, etc.
It will be interesting to see how Facebook users acclimate to these innovations down the road, but it’s really hard to find any REAL fault with the changes they’ve made. Facebook giveth and they taketh away. Then, if there is enough uproar, they giveth back.