Lesley Hays is not a fan of the Facebook face-lift
Facebook wants to know what’s on my mind. And it’s not going to like the answer.
Let me preface this by saying that I didn’t mind the old new Facebook layout. In fact, I thought it was… good. It was easy to get used to and although I can’t exactly remember what changes were made (it left that much of an impression on me) I’m sure it probably made online life easier. That’s not to say it didn’t have its quirks, but overall it reduced my application-invite-spam and I liked it for that.
Late last week, Facebook changed its home page layout again, accompanied by a variety of other changes – some good, some not so good. Now, I kind of like how fan pages look more like regular profile pages but this post will focus more on the changes that’ll immediately affect you: the changes to the home page and profiles.
My initial observation was that I couldn’t see how to update my status. That was the first thing I wanted to do on the first day of the new change and it wasn’t a great introduction to the layout.
I saw the “What’s on your mind?” box (that’s what Facebook called the Publisher box); it looks pretty much like the old status update box. I clicked in it. Some options opened up below it to add a link or a photo but nowhere did it talk about statuses. I was confused. I checked the help section (not yet updated).
At last, I took a punt and typed it in, sticking to the format Facebook has already drilled into users: write your status in the third person, with your own name at the start. As luck would have it, it was the status update box but why should I have had to guess? Isn’t the whole reason for these changes because the status feature is important?
The second thing I noticed was that my News Feed was “different”.
The major change is that certain updates have been stripped from the News Feed and shoved into this “Highlights” column on the right. It’s cramped, hard to read and nothing is time stamped; I’m never going to look at what turns up there.
I’m pretty sure this will affect how we use Facebook because as soon as they hid our applications under a separate profile tab, nobody seemed to use them anymore. With these new changes, will people stop uploading photos or joining groups or tagging people? Are these not just as important in Facebook as updating your status (or rather, telling everyone “what’s on your mind”)?
As many people have said: if I wanted to just continually update my status and send micro-messages to other people, I’d join Twitter.
Overall, these changes have altered the way users can see, use and understand information. The new ways might have worked fine, perhaps even better, if that was how it was to start with. However, Facebook users already know and appreciate things like the difference between a status and a wall post, so removing these is a pretty big affront to how they use the site.
I’m sure we’ll get over these changes like we got over the last lot, but if we changed how we use the site after the first time, what will happen now? Maybe nothing, but I’ll be interested to see how it all pans out.