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The New Facebook July 22, 2008

Posted by cmvlibrarian in Social networking, Web 2.0.

Photo by jurvetson on Flickr. Used with permission. License information at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Facebook recently unveiled its new look after months of planning. Users can volunteer to try the new interface and offer feedback via a link at the top of the page or return to the old interface. It looks like Facebook’s really encouraging users to transition into the new interface, since according to their update they’ll be transitioning everyone to the new interface.

I’ve scanned the new interface and it looks like it has a number of good features. The homepage boasts a better information architecture that makes it easier to see content of interest. The profile pages have a tabbed design with the option for users to create tabs for their favorite applications. Profile privacy is further enhanced by users’ ability to select one of their friends and view their own profile the way the friend would see it. This makes it much easier for people who want to use their profiles for both professional and social networking to customize their profile’s appropriatly.

The only downsides that I found so far is that the “box” tab (the default location for most applications) seems a little cluttered, but is pretty easy to clean up. A more serious flaw is the merging of the activity feed with the wall. On its default setting what was once an easy place for your friends to write a quick message can become overwhelming cluttered. Hopefully Facebook has the sense to break this into separate tabs or at least distinct areas of the same tab before they finalize their design and move all users to this format.



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