Most people probably know by now that Facebook changed the layout on the personal homepages fairly drastically in the past few days. It seems to be the “in” topic of conversation, and I certainly have some thoughts on it and would love to hear yours in the comments below.

What changed?

Rather than having a few “status updates” at the top of the page, and then everything else people do (post photos, add applications, RSVP for events, etc.) below that, the new look has everything together in one long column.  The new format has also integrated photos more, and given us the ability to comment on almost everything.

The other major change is that you now have the option to make your entire profile visible publicly.  There are other changes, but these are the ones that I see as having the most impact on the user experience.

Why did they do it?

I’m not sure, really, but I do have 2 hypotheses:New Facebook

1) To increase the interactive nature of Facebook

On Twitter, the nature of the application is that there is much more “backing and forthing” between people.  On Facebook, that didn’t happen much in the old version.  Since new version was implemented, I have noticed that my friends are commenting much more on what other people are doing.  There is a lot more interaction.  And, since there are more updates visible at a time, it’s even easier for that to happen.  For example, in the past, if I updated my status, and a few people commented on it, after a while, I would have to go to my profile page to see the comments because they would be off the page.  Now, they stay visible much longer.

2) To better compete with Twitter

While Twitter is nowhere near the size that Facebook is, Twitter is growing rapidly, and is starting to become more mainstream.  While Facebook and Twitter serve completely different purposes, there IS cross-over, and Facebook should work quickly to integrate what is working in Twitter, into their application.

I have also heard some people say that Facebook made these changes so they can show more advertisements.  I’m not sure how that’s true, at least at this point, as I am not seeing ANY ads on my homepage, whereas before the changes I was (note to self: check how my facebook ad for my busines fan page is doing!)

What do people think so far?

My personal thoughts… overall, I don’t like it!  My favorite thing to do on Facebook was to look at people’s status updates.  While I can still do that, the updates get lost in the sea of everything else everyone is doing (that’s why I love the new Tweetdeck Facebook integration, as it shows me status updates only!).  However, I DO like that you can remove some people from your status update list (for those you are less out of touch with). I also like that there is more interaction between people.

I haven’t seen any positive comments, but definitely fewer negative ones (and certainly no protest groups) than the last major Facebook update).  But, here are a few things my friends have said:

“I don’t like that you don’t see your own status update at the top of the page anymore”

“I don’t like the new pages.. feels like I can’t find anything i need… ugh”

“I was just getting comfortable and then they changed it! Ugh!”

“It’s got to much on the page.. all the crap down the right side. Yuk”

The last time Facebook had a major visual update, I was hoping they would pay attention to all the negative comments and go back to the way it was.  They didn’t, and I don’t think they will this time, unfortunately.

What do you think of the new updates?  Why do you think they did made these changes?  How will it impact how people use Facebook?

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    • http://ryanscottmiller.com/ Ryan

      I think it’s a clear move to compete with Twitter! You make a good point that the new design will probably encourage more interaction with updates. I personally like the move because I am a big Twitter user, but I don’t know how much the Facebook-only type users will like it, just like the comments you’ve posted illustrate. Great post!

      Ryan’s last blog post..The Twitterization of Facebook

    • http://ryanscottmiller.com Ryan

      I think it’s a clear move to compete with Twitter! You make a good point that the new design will probably encourage more interaction with updates. I personally like the move because I am a big Twitter user, but I don’t know how much the Facebook-only type users will like it, just like the comments you’ve posted illustrate. Great post!

      Ryan’s last blog post..The Twitterization of Facebook

    • Pingback: The Twitterization of Facebook : Ryan Scott Miller

    • http://ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

      I wait for the Facebook API to enable more third-party services, like Twitter does. Until that happens, I still dislike the social networking site.

      Ari Herzog’s last blog post..Why I Don’t Hate Facebook Anymore

    • http://ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

      I wait for the Facebook API to enable more third-party services, like Twitter does. Until that happens, I still dislike the social networking site.

      Ari Herzog’s last blog post..Why I Don’t Hate Facebook Anymore

    • Jason

      An utter failure. What was once unique, deep, & flexible, and good for keeping-up with friends, is evolving into a rigid and equally shallow Twitter clone, except not as good as Twitter for real-time stream-of-consciousness. Assuming facebookers even wanted that. We’re on facebook for a REASON (i.e.–it isn’t Twitter).

      The new facebook is about shallow-ness, being harder to connect with people, and less choice…less choice in your feeds, privacy, etc. The new facebook inundates everyone with trivia, while at the same time robbing heavy users of all depth.

      For ideas on how to make facebook fix their mistakes, and other interesting comments from around the web, see
      http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=61010781930

    • Jason

      An utter failure. What was once unique, deep, & flexible, and good for keeping-up with friends, is evolving into a rigid and equally shallow Twitter clone, except not as good as Twitter for real-time stream-of-consciousness. Assuming facebookers even wanted that. We’re on facebook for a REASON (i.e.–it isn’t Twitter).

      The new facebook is about shallow-ness, being harder to connect with people, and less choice…less choice in your feeds, privacy, etc. The new facebook inundates everyone with trivia, while at the same time robbing heavy users of all depth.

      For ideas on how to make facebook fix their mistakes, and other interesting comments from around the web, see
      http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=61010781930

    • http://www.twitter.com/jfavreau Jamie Favreau

      I don’t like the fact that you can’t minimize the feeds anymore. You used to be able to do so anymore. Frustrating because you get too much noise and not enough content.

      Jamie Favreau’s last blog post..Jfavreau: Has anyone used the FB integrated Tweetdeck yet? I just downloaded it.

    • http://www.twitter.com/jfavreau Jamie Favreau

      I don’t like the fact that you can’t minimize the feeds anymore. You used to be able to do so anymore. Frustrating because you get too much noise and not enough content.

      Jamie Favreau’s last blog post..Jfavreau: Has anyone used the FB integrated Tweetdeck yet? I just downloaded it.

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      Great stuff. I really like your writing style.