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The 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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