Facebook Getting a Facelift, Full-Featured Webmail

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Facebook is redesigning their home page, at long last.  Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, announced a teaser to the changes on the Facebook Blog last night in celebration of the social media site’s 6th anniversary and 400 millionth user.  Later, on the same blog, Jing Chen introduced the new updates.

Some of the new improvements include putting more core features right on the front page in easily-accessible menu options.  The features are rolling out slowly, with about 100 million users having it as of this writing and the other 300 million expected to have them before the weekend is through.

The biggest change are the new icons at the top of the user’s home page.  These will include quick links to things most-often used by those logging in: requests, messages, and notifications.  The icons turn red when something new is in the section they represent, giving a fast visual cue to the latest updates to your Facebook activity.

On the left is another newly enhanced menu, this one giving links directly to your feeds, messages, friends, photos, and so forth, as before.  Now, however, when you click one of those links, such as your photos, the window that opens has links to your own photo albums as well as those of your friends, giving you the chance to browse easily and even see the latest updates to those photos immediately.  Similar enhancements were made to friends lists and feeds.

Finally, TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington this morning broke the news that Facebook is also working on a complete rewrite of their messaging system to build it into a full-featured webmail/email product.  This is known as Project Titan and will likely be one of the biggest changes to the Facebook product in a long time.

The rumors with Titan are that it will be a full-featured webmail product much like Google’s Gmail, with POP/IMAP support, vanity URL emails, and more.  Can’t wait.

So a lot of big stuff is happening at the Web’s largest social media giant.


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