Steve’s Media Blog

The New Facebook Makes Sense

Posted on: March 23, 2009

A lot of people are bashing Facebook for “fixing what ain’t broke” (or even less verbose versions of the same thing).  In short, Facebook took what was working perfectly fine and fine-tuned it into a format that more closely resembles Twitter.  At first, I didn’t like the new Facebook changes either – but I didn’t really speak out against it, I sort of just quietly complained and just went about to continue using it.

Facebook definitely is a lot more like Twitter than it used to be – even though Twitter is just Facebook’s status updates without the convoluted mess (i.e. applications, quizzes, notes, etc. etc.).  Twitter is seen by many as very popular, but not something that will last.  I disagree, but my thoughts on Twitter are destined for another post.  There are big problems with Facebook becoming Twitter-like, however.

The biggest problem is that Facebook is way too complicated.  There are too many different features to Facebook to try and reduce it to a single news feed.  On the surface, this is what they’ve done – but if you dig a little deeper, you can filter out news feeds for different items and see only what you want to see.  For instance, if I just want to read people’s notes, I click on “notes” – but by default, my news feed doesn’t show them unless I’ve been tagged in it.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized this change makes sense – for Facebook, that is.  I’m no genius web marketer, but this change strikes me as being designed with the thought of getting people to spend more time on the website.  From what little I know about web marketing, time spent on a website is a pretty important number for selling ads.

Even the amount of people complaining about the new design has dropped off since the initial change.  I just see people posting things the way they used to, and not worrying too much about the change in design.  This is what happened with the last Facebook change – people complained about it, but ultimately forgot that there was anything wrong and got used to the new design.

I really don’t see Facebook reverting to its previous design at all.


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