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Summary:

When Facebook overhauled its user interface last year, dozens of “protest groups” cropped up from members that didn’t like it. The social ne…

imageWhen Facebook overhauled its user interface last year, dozens of “protest groups” cropped up from members that didn’t like it. The social network stuck to its guns on the changes, and Chris Cox, Facebook’s director of product, said people actually ended up using the site more.

Starting next Wednesday, March 11, another redesign will take effect — and while it’s aimed at giving members more control over the info they put into “the stream,” as well as the info they receive — there’s bound to be some feedback from Facebook’s increasingly vocal user base.

More after the jump.

Better filters for the news feed: Cox said Facebook introduced the news feed to give members a better read on “what was going on” with their connections. But with over 175 million members, including entities like the NYT, the NBA, and personalities like President Obama and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, the influx of status updates, photo uploads and comments can create too much noise. The new design lets members filter their news feed quickly, and remove friends or public figures that clog the stream with updates; they can also slice the feed according to groups like family, co-workers and colleges. Cox also said the news feed will update faster, closer to “real-time” than the current pre-set intervals, and there’s a “highlights” column on the right side of the page that will show content like videos and photos from people members interact with most frequently.

“Publish” content faster: Facebook calls the status update box “the publisher,” since users will be able to use it to upload photos, notes and other content directly. Previously, members had to click on the photos or notes tabs to make changes. Facebook also changed the default text from “what are you doing right now” to “what’s on your mind,” a subtle dig at Twitter, perhaps, which uses the former. It’s another sign of how important status and mood updates have become for driving user engagement with social networks, as MySpace redesigned its status and mood update features too, including the addition of groups and filters.

  1. I think much of Facebook's success is due to their continued commitment to the technology an UI of their product – this innovation will keep them ahead rather then end up playing catch up like Myspace.

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  2. New Facebook is giving me updates on the right side about people I've never seen before. How is that an improvement? I only care about my friends, not friends of friends. I bet you're going to see a lot of complaints.

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  3. You are correct, it's not an improvement.
    If I wanted to join Twitter, I would have done so.

    Facebook is now nothing more than Twitter with Dozens of Photo Albums you can create.

    I wonder what Genius Web U.I. Methodology their Products group subscribes to, which says to make MAJOR REVAMPS to your site, within 2-3 months of each other. I say more and more users Revolt!

    The last "Update" was enough to create (literally Million Member Groups) against the "new" Facebook. This should even be more of a Revolt

    Again, if I wanted Twitter, I'd sign up for Twitter.

    I want Facebook, to keep up with Friends, Business Acquaintances(Kudos's to Facebook getting THIS RIGHT—i.e. Advanced Security/Profile View based on Group Settings), and get the occassional laugh from what a friend has posted

    Who wants to bet there will be another "revamp" within the next 6 months????.

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  4. I disagree, it's about setting the pace, the users will adapt to the UI and they will keep the masses if they continue to improve their product and add functionality.

    "If you wanted Twitter, you would sign up to Twitter" – that's the problem, it's getting a lot of buzz at the moment and the functionality of Twitter and the threat it poses to Facebook needed to be addressed.

    People are against change no matter what – it's ingrained in us. In 12 months they will change it again and the same people will complain they loved the old interface. It's already happening!

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  5. "In 12 months they will change it again and the same people will complain they loved the old interface."

    Hopefully it will take less than 12 months. Until it happens, whenever it does, we won't know if the changes in response to the current backlash are positive (or at least appeasing) until they are implemented. The arguably-poor form and function of the current New FB wasn't apparent in their little preview of it. But many, when they saw it live and direct for the first time, knew then it was broken, myself included. And many of those have not changed their opinions since, myself included.

    It only roughly half that time to make this regressive change away from an unbroken formula, in order to mimic an upstart instead of continuing to be what made FB the leader.

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