It all started out with a relatively small number of people who were curious about the “new profile” on Facebook. Apparently, it was supposed to tell your story much more effectively than the previous profile. Some of these early adopters learned, much to their dismay, that once you crossed over there was no turning back. Ah well. So much for reading the fine print.
I was one of those who, although somewhat intrigued by the new format, did not want to change because I already liked the way my profile looked. A few weeks later, well, what do you know? I was informed that the new design was being rolled out to me whether I liked it or not. A few friends who had skipped Facebook for a couple of days were a bit disoriented after having discovered the complete overhaul in the look of their profiles.
I didn’t really whine much because Facebook is, after all, a free service, and I never really trust freebies. To restate a friend’s wry comment, it’s “just like love, free but under certain conditions.” Nevertheless, it made me a bit cranky, because hey, I like my status updates right up there. I clear that space when I’ve got nothing to say, but when I do put something up, it’s because that’s what I want my friends to read, not those wall posts and links other people have added in my absence (no, I am not on FB 24 hours a day) that would otherwise push my status update down my wall.
Anyway, in the interest of understanding why Facebook has, once again, shaken us out of our comfort zones, let’s take a look at what has been changed and more importantly, why. A note released by one of Facebook’s employees attempts to explain these.
The new profile features:
- A quick summary of who you are (like where you live, work and grew up), right at the top of your profile
- A row of recently tagged photos so friends can see what you’ve been up to lately
- Room to highlight meaningful friendships (like teammates, co-workers or roommates)
- More of your favorite activities and interests
- The ability to tag your friends in important life experiences
I have to admit, the row of photos at the upper portion of the wall did appear somewhat stylish to me, UNTIL I realized that these were tagged photos and NOT profile pictures. Instead of snapshots of me with my friends, I could see photos of birthday calendars, items being sold online, and other inane things that I’ve been tagged in but really don’t want on my wall. There’s an option to remove pictures from the lineup, but really, do you want to spend your time clicking away, removing all of the tagged photos you don’t like?
Boxes for applications have also been done away with. Now I can’t really say I was crazy about those. In my opinion, they made pages look a tad cluttered. I do wish we still had more control over the “About Me” field. Reading about where a friend works just doesn’t interest me as much as seeing more personality on people’s pages. If I had wanted to know about employment specifics, I would have clicked on the tab for that sort of information, anyway.
In any case, the new profile design is here and it’s here to stay. Facebook hasn’t shown signs of succumbing to public clamor, so it’s either we live with it or bail out. Personally, I’m keeping my account because the new design isn’t going to kill me and Facebook is still the easiest way for me to stay in touch with my networks. Still, I’m not sure about the new look. It doesn’t seem to accomplish all that much for me, which makes me think that the new look isn’t providing the kind of function preferred by many (if not most) users.
Amidst all of the annoyed/irritated/violent status updates and comments complaining about Facebook’s new profile design, let’s try to be level-headed here. What do you think about the new look after having had a few days or weeks to get used to it? Is the purpose for the change clear, and is Facebook successful in tying up their supposed objectives with the preferences of the public?
Photos via facebook.com