So here’s the thing — I don’t hate the new Facebook redesign. In fact, I kind of like it.
I must be joining all of about 9,773 people among the social network’s 175-million-strong ranks who aren’t up in arms over the redesign. The criticisms of the changes are numerous, detailed and widespread — so much so that there are reports even Facebook employees hate it.
The consensus out there is that the new look was inspired in part by the real-time stream of the current “it” network, Twitter — and I can’t deny that that probably has something to do with why I like it.
It seems to me that Facebook took a page from Twitter, FriendFeed and now-defunct Pownce in how it presents aggregated information about what people are doing and saying. The new Facebook stream gives more equal weight to the individuals and groups (in the form of fan pages) you want to be connected to — it’s no longer a friend’s status update here and a note from one of your groups way over here. When Mashable posts a new article, I see it in the same stream that tells me which of my friends just blew their March Madness brackets. This makes much more sense to me, because I use social networks to gather information, whether it’s about friends, trends or news events. If I’ve gone to the trouble of becoming a fan of a group, business or organization, I want to know what’s new there as much as I want to hear about what a former colleague is up to.
Believe me, I am no Facebook defender. When the social networking completed its last redesign six months ago, I was quite annoyed. Although the redesign aimed to keep pages from looking too cluttered (an especially admirable goal in light of how MySpace looked), I thought the changes ended up parceling out information over a greater number of pages, which was the last thing I wanted.
Despite the latest uproar over a rumored e-mail from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying, essentially, that he could care less about user complaints, I can’t picture Facebook doing what Tropicana did recently and bending to the will of its customers. So unless we all feel like doing a mass-migration to Bebo, we’re going to have to live with this. Good thing everyone has Facebook and Twitter to vent their complaints through.
How about you? Will you be part of the user revolt? Am I wrong to not join the cause?
(Photo credit: Jacob Bøtter)