The “world’s youngest billionaire”, 26-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, announced on the show 60 Minutes, and his fellow Facebooker Josh Wiseman posted it on the company blog, the arrival of yet another redesign to the world’s favorite social network.
The redesign, which is launching in phases across the site’s 500 million-plus addicted users, is set to focus primarily on the prominence of Facebook’s most famous feature, Photos. Also on the cards is the consolidation of user information, in a bid to emphasize and personalize the Profile.
Hot on the trail of The Social Network, a brilliant and to some, controversial film of the creation of this behemoth network, Zuckerberg’s product has undergone yet another revamp in the hopes of enhancing the experience to a site that has managed to sustain itself in the highly volatile Web 2.0 market that has emerged so rapidly in the past few years.
The “new” Facebook is being rolled-out in phases to users, in a bid to stifle the usual protests from a small group of the 500 million users worldwide who always complain about a change to the user interface or experience to the site. In my opinion, however, this redesign is welcomed; it’s a nice change from having to use the (now old) tabbed interface for over two years.
The redesign displays a news feed of sorts of a user’s latest photos underneath a compilation of pertinent information relating to the individual. This information now includes interesting features such as allowing one to add projects which they’ve worked on, education information, relationship status, location data, and company/work-related tags. You can even add what languages you speak, and the courses you’ve studied/are studying at university or school.
This emphasis on a user’s information is seen as a move by the company to emphasize the individual, allow friends to access the most critical information as quick as possible, and to streamline the overall look and feel of the site.
Photos are an integral part of Facebook, and as such there’s a “reel” of the individual’s latest photos that appear underneath the user’s critical information.
A cool new feature (that to some may be controversial…) is the ability to allow users to display “featured friends”. According to Wiseman in the blog post introducing the feature, “You can now highlight the friends who are important to you, such as your family, best friends or teammates. Create new groups of friends, or feature existing friends lists.” Sounds cool, but it may turn a few faces sour at not being featured on there, so be warned!
I quite like this new redesign. The prominence of information related to the individual, especially tags relating to work experience, projects one has worked on, and education and courses one is or has been involved in, opens up the possibility to creating “new experiences” (as Wiseman noted in the blog post). Some will resent it, but hey, change is good if we want a better experience from the social network that has revolutionised the way we connect.
The changes are being rolled-out in phases, so not everyone will have the “New Facebook” right away. Check your profile periodically to see if it’s been updated.