Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Facebook: My Take

(above: my actual Facebook page, available through a link to the right)

New Facebook does the following very good things:
  • Forces you to prioritize your applications: you can only keep a small number of application boxes on your main profile page, and the rest of them must go on your "boxes" tab. This finally eliminates the MySpacey ugliness of poorly designed and ugly-graphic-heavy application boxes all over a profile.
  • Tabbed browsing of relevant profile information: if you only want someone's information or favorites, it's all neatly collected in their "info". If you want their pictures, you hit the "pictures" tab. And the news feed also has a tab. Oh, speaking of...
  • Combines all recent friend information in one place: gone are the days of checking news feed, wall, posted items, and so on just to see what is happening with your friends (or yourself!) at a given time. The combined feed gives you an overview of ALL recent activity.
  • A comprehensive, organized right sidebar on the main page: I watched a pointless little YouTube video mocking this specific feature and contesting that the internet is ALWAYS left justified. Turns out, interestingly enough, that some of his rant was in his video's info sidebar, which was on the (you guessed it) right side of the YouTube video page. And not only that, Facebook's sidebar has all the relevant info you might want, including a late-breaking addition of an application link menu, a change made as a result of constant and meticulous refining by the Facebook development team.
  • Generally cleaner, without wasted space: yeah, the pages take up more space in a browser window and gest rid of the white space on the two sides, but I always thought that screen efficiency and clean design were good things.
  • The ability to comment on everything: the dialogue-starting ability to comment on, for instance, stati is awesome; I have commented on quite a few people's stati and received reciprocal comments on my own. It's instant, compact, and it stays current and easy to use.
That's just an at-a-glance list. But even if you don't buy that new Facebook is superior, it's time to clam it, 'cause Facebook isn't about to host two separate architectures for their site just so that a few change-averse people can avoid getting used to something new. I myself am usually change-averse, but this time, even if the change isn't, in your eyes, far superior, it sure is permanent!

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