logoWe’ve repeatedly covered Facebook since the announcement of the Facebook Platform, and we have noted that it’s very important for Facebook to maintain a clear difference between themselves and MySpace in the upcoming battle for social networking supremacy. The Application Platform, however, makes it increasingly harder for them to steer clear of the same traps MySpace fell into.

While the majority of Facebook’s users don’t want MySpace’s features, there’s a growing and burgeoning minority that seems hell bent on bringing MySpace to Facebook so they can finally merge their two social networks. It seems as if the most vocal proponents of autoplaying music and user customizable pages are those that have come directly from MySpace to join all of their friends on Facebook. As new transplants, they’re finding it hard to adjust without MySpace’s customizable crap (call it what you will, but this is how the majority of Facebook users feel) and feel it necessary to bring all of that to Facebook.

Facebook’s key feature has always been their smooth and well-designed website. MySpace, on the other hand, is known for crowded pages and user chosen themes. While MySpace has brought up a thriving ecosystem of websites that spit out the HTML to customize these pages, its userbase suffers from slow loading pages and numerous eyesores. Facebook users have always prided themselves on Facebook’s elegance, instead opting to standardize the design scheme in an effort to maintain some sort of graphic decency on the website.

Glitter Text

Facebook’s Glitter Text: Ruining a User Interface Near You

The Application Platform, however, has allowed outside developers to change the Facebook user experience. Profiles have become far more cluttered with apps, but they remain organized because of Facebook’s grid-based design. Applications like Glitter Text (Facebook account required) threaten to interrupt Facebook’s design serenity and turn it into a veritable MySpace design competitor. Few Facebook members want that, but, unfortunately, Facebook hasn’t provided a way to disable certain applications on users’ profiles.

Music and Autoplay
So far, Facebook has held its ground on the autoplay issue. Upon visiting MySpace pages, lots of users are subjected to long waits as crowded backgrounds and music load as the profile page does. Facebook has attempted to keep their interface and user experience pure by ensuring users have to click on Flash objects in order to make them play. This approach seems to have worked well so far. Complicated applications like iLike‘s lets users do more than just play music. As they’d originally planned, applications like that add additional functionality not seen in other social networks like MySpace.

Whereas MySpace only allows a widget, Facebook enhances the user experience of both the profile owner and the profile browser. iLike, which has practically become Facebook’s official music player (because of the number of users that have adopted it), faces competition from a rather simple application, the independently developed Audio. Similar to MySpace’s music player, Audio does one thing. Unlike MySpace, however, it’s rather simple, and its “click to play” nature makes it rather unobtrusive.

Facebook Audio

Facebook’s Simple Audio Application

The End Game
Watching the social network I love become more cluttered isn’t an enjoyable experience. Such growth experiences, however, often lend themselves to growing pains, and Facebook is no exception. As outside developers learn to take advantage of Facebook’s new features, they’ll find themselves faced with the option to clutter profiles or to help them stay clean. I hope, for the sake of every user out there, that Facebook stays vigilant about protecting their user interface.


Written by | dave

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  1. Sohaib

    July 5, 2007 at 1:47 am

    Well if it not myspaced already it sure is on the path of being “myspaced” I haven’t installed a single app on my profile and I don’t think i ever will.

  2. Zach Allia

    July 6, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    I think it is important to notice that the people who’s profiles are becoming cluttered are not the main crowd. As a developer I install just about every app to see what it does, but my friends on the other hand don’t have nearly as many apps installed.

    The best part about the platform is it is totally customizable. I think the fact that you can pretty much opt out of the entire platform is awesome, as opposed to sites like Myspace where there is no preference to do anything like that. So, if I didn’t want to see Glitter text anywhere, I can block that app entirely.

    In the next month we are going to see a total change in the Top 10 as some of those have basically stopped growing. The ones that continue to grow are going to be the applications that cater to the widest audience, and aren’t totally invasive.

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  4. tyler durden

    January 7, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    what a duche

  5. Singapore Escorts

    January 9, 2009 at 1:26 am

    If Facebook and Myspace got married, it would be the marriage of all marriages.

  6. Italian Restaurant

    January 12, 2009 at 6:35 am

    I think both Facebook and MySpace are great. However, i use more of Facebook. Anyway, thanks for sharing !

  7. Singapore Property

    January 21, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Both are just as good. I have accounts with both of them.

  8. sean

    February 24, 2009 at 3:24 am

    There is a way to get your music player to auto play and auto load on Facebook
    read this

  9. Cirurgia Plastica

    February 24, 2009 at 3:46 am

    I prefer facebook,its my favourite

  10. Psicologo

    February 24, 2009 at 3:59 am

    Thats the perfect marriage.

  11. sean

    February 24, 2009 at 6:24 am

    There is a way to get your music player to auto play and auto load on Facebook
    read this

  12. Cirurgia Plastica

    February 24, 2009 at 6:46 am

    I prefer facebook,its my favourite

  13. Psicologo

    February 24, 2009 at 6:59 am

    Thats the perfect marriage.

  14. sean

    February 24, 2009 at 11:24 am

    There is a way to get your music player to auto play and auto load on Facebook
    read this

  15. Cirurgia Plastica

    February 24, 2009 at 11:46 am

    I prefer facebook,its my favourite

  16. Psicologo

    February 24, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Thats the perfect marriage.

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