You’ve probably heard it by now if you’re an avid Facebook user, and if you’re not, I can’t see how this would matter. Facebook announced today that they have been working for the past few months on recreating the Profile, and provided previews of the redesigned Profile page which includes, among other things, a multi-tabbed profile interface — with sections like “Wall,” “About,” and “Photos” now in tabs. The change will be gradually rolled out to users over the next few weeks, and a official Page has been setup that users can be a part of and use to get periodical updates about the change. Here is a full screenshot of the new profile.
For full coverage of the news, see great writeups and analysis from TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, and Webware. But at Rev2 I want to focus on answering this question: what does this mean for the Facebook user? Judging (purely) from the screenshot, here are what I think are the positives associated with this change:
- Better, more consise apps.
- A generally cleaner interface and less clutter.
- An advancement to the general user experience at Facebook.
- To those who were starting to getting bored of the seemingly unchanging site, a revamped experience.
Of course, as Facebook knows very well from past instances of the News Feed and Beacon, every change, addition, and advancement has great consequences, and some of them might not necessarily be positive ones in the short-term. As a result, there are a few negatives Facebook risks facing:
- A major change — and the task of getting 60 million people using, accepting, and liking it.
- A backlash by the people who prefer the old design.
- A large risk of losing the “Facebook feel” — the very charm of the site that got it to be where it is.
Whatever the consequences are, it’s safe to say Facebook is well prepared. After going through two major backlashes, they’re aware of the risks and most probably have plans as to how to go about and implement it. As for the users, as Facebook claims, this is supposed to be a change for the long-term, so it’s something the users are going to have to get used to more or less –which could help them or harm them in a big way.