So why write about another Facebook profile layout change? It’s hardly news is it. From time to time, they’re bound to make a change here or there… What’s different is that here is a site that millions of people use, not just from time to time but multiple times a day in many cases. Changes to the interface will rankle with some people because it interrupts their flow. There will be pauses as they/we have to think even for a second where things are or how they’re labelled. It’s natural and understandable.
Aside from that, these changes demonstrate more than just a bit of a rearrange of the appearance of the site. It often exposes how they’re gameplan is evolving. Small things like (finally) recognising that I’m on a Mac, so show me a useful tip that relates to how I might best find other people in the system is clever and makes sense in terms of the user’s experience but also in terms of getting more user data in Facebook.
One other little nugget you can’t fail to see is the redesigned header for the news feed and wall, which condenses the options of what to post quite nicely but adds a new option for ‘questions’. As social networks are evolving, marketers and social-commerce start-ups are seeing how the power of the personal referral can influence your buying decision more than traditional advertising. Perhaps this might end up going that way, or just simply be a smart way of getting you to engage with your contacts more and perhaps make more connections within Facebook? It’ll hardly be of the nature of Stack Overflow but interesting to see what the angle is with it.
Across the top of your profile, they now show an overview of your ‘info’ view, which I find quite annoying. These facts seems fairly pointless ad I’d prefer to be able to choose what’s shown up there. Not sure how relevant any of that is to people I already know and should be private from those I don’t (according to my privacy settings).
Update: Like Charlene Li’s perspective on this: http://www.charleneli.com/2010/12/facebooks-new-profile-page-good-for-people-and-yes-advertisers-too/