Despite users despising the new layout, the user-hating folks at Facebook have decided to change the design yet again. This time, they have changed the look of the homepage only. Unfortunately, this is where most users spend most of their time, so it has a significant impact. In the old new design, wall posts, status updates, and the like were all in the same place. Each of the different things had a unique look to them. At a glance you could distinguish between wall posts and status updates. Not anymore.
The reason for this design change? Facebook is trying to be more like Twitter, a “microblogging” site. Think of Facebook’s status update. Now, add the ability to “friend” other users, and the ability to customize the design of your homepage, and you have Twitter. Observe:
Facebook says that they have included a lot of new features, most notably the “real-time” feed. Too bad it isn’t real time by any means. In order to see new status updates, wall posts, and such, you need to manually refresh the webpage, just like before. The other feature is the “publisher.” It allows you to write a status update, share a link, or post photos from any page on Facebook. So it’s pretty much like the status update box was before, except now it’s on your profile page and your home page. So much for new features.
Now to the interesting part. The reason Facebook wants to be more like Twitter is because Facebook actually tried to buy Twitter. They declined, and now Facebook is bitter. The logical thing for Facebook to do is to redesign the site like Twitter, as a “anything you can do, I can do better” jab at Twitter. Unfortunately, Twitter’s charm is its simplicity. Facebook is not Twitter, and shouldn’t try to be like it.
Facebook obviously doesn’t care about its users enough to change anything back unless thousands of users and blogs create an uproar (see Facebook’s TOS change.) This blog isn’t going to do it alone, and neither is making “I hate the new Facebook” groups. We need to threaten to leave again, because it seemed to work last time.