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New Facebook. Are you a lover or a fighter?

Alex Christie

19 September 2008

This week, across the Tamar office, I haven’t been able to ignore Henry enthusiastically stating his  intention to start a Facebook group dedicated to the appreciation of the new Facebook design, which was made compulsory last week. For the previous month, it was possible to opt in or out of the new design, simply by adding ‘new’ into the URL.Facebookplatform

Henry was most probably venting his opinion – which (as you would expect) is contrary to the 1 million members of various groups petitioning to save the old Facebook. I would tend to agree with my esteemed Social Media collegue. I love the new Facebook – and I cant really understand why there is such a strong backlash against its compulsory introduction. I find it a lot more functional, a lot better organised and it makes it a lot easier to get what I want. In comparison, the old version looks so dated.

So, after Mark Zukerberg’s blog last night reporting on the new Facebook uptake upon release (now at 100 million users on the new platform) – and their justification to only run with the new version, and not entertain the idea of ‘simply’ maitaining both, like many of the groups suggested. Most of the comments made in group discussions (that actually do give some Feedback, not just a good rant!) state that the issue is with the combined notifications and updates in the wall, and the tabs design for the newsfeed. Theres also a bit of complaint around the speed that the new design takes to upload.

Whilst I haven’t had a bad experience with load times, I can understand there being a little confusion at the new tabs design. The fundemental design of the old Facebook has ultimately been around for a few years now – and it does take time to get used to, but I would argue that after using it for a while now, the feed is more customisable, you dont have scroll all over the place to see whats going on, and actually, I get a better quality of updates due to the way the pages are organised. This is mostly down to the tabs design, which Google – in their Chrome launch webcomic – indicated is now fundemental to how people behave and interact on and with the internet. Tabs are placed at the heart of the Chrome design, and are now more user friendly than ever.

Zuckerberg’s blog made the point that both new and old versions couldn’t be maintained, as it would compromise development of one truly better version if resource was used to keep two versions running. Love it or hate it – the great thing is that Facebook encourage our feedback, and encourage debate – whether positive or negative. I encourage them to keep up the good work, as I really like the version of Facebook we have now!

PS; I’ll let you know if Henry gets that group going… :o )

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