The New Facebook Has Arrived

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

If you use Facebook then by now you are sure to know all about the latest layout makeover the site has undergone. As is typically the case, people hate it and will plead for the site to revert to their previous layout. Ironically, people hated the previous layout at first as well, myself included.

But a funny thing happened. Everybody got used to it and realized that the changes were not so bad after all. I was preparing to do a follow up to my previous Facebook rant about the layout to be fair but then I heard a rumor about the site undergoing a new redesign, so I held off on any such post.

Over the weekend my Facebook profile finally received the hyped face(book?)lift, making it more like Twitter than ever. For me I welcome the changes. Honestly I like Twitter a lot more than Facebook and find myself more inclined to update my Twitter profile than my Facebook profile. We won't even discuss my once a month MySpace habit.

The new friend feed is awfully similar to your Twitter feed. Compare the above image with a typical Twitter feed...

The new Facebook layout presents a change to the feed that runs on your personal home page. The new layout allows the ability to break various friend feeds into categories. For example you can group your family into one group, your co-workers in another group, your fraternity brothers in one group and your long lost friends in another.

If there are some people you are "friends" with that you care not to hear from so much you can put them in another category all together.

Group your "friends"
into categories.

For some this is a welcome modification to the way Facebook streams your updates. Those people who welcome the change with open arms are likely users of Twitter, which uses a very similar streaming method. Some Twitter applications allow you to break your friends into different groups to filter the constant updates from the Twitterverse. Tweetdeck is one such application. Facebook now incorporates that idea into the main programming.

The live feed was my major pet peeve with the last layout update. The default feed was much more cluttered than the live feed, which was simple and straight forward. The changes made with this layout help to correct this issue.

I suppose you can say that I am in favor of the new Facebook layout, but as I said there are those who find change to be a difficult thing. This statement is evidenced by the new wave of Facebook protests forming on the social networking service, such as The New Facebook Layout Sucks! (48,251 members as of this post). Having done some brief skimming of a number of these groups it seems that many of them are started by high school kids who believe that it is their right to complain when things change.

I applaud the new layout. What about you?

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