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Facebook gets more than a facelift

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CIOL Bureau
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BANGALORE, INDIA: Facebook today released a new, cleaner and simpler design, along with the opportunity for users to preview and test the next-generation features and functionality.

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The company in a statement invited users to try out the new design and improved features. Access to the new design will be limited at first and gradually become available to all of Facebook's more than 80 million users over the coming days.

"We've made the changes rolling out today in order to highlight the most recent and relevant information that users value, give users even more control and ownership over their profiles and simplify the user experience," said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

"Facebook's new design makes it a lot easier for users to share information, and we encourage them to check it out."

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The company has been developing the new design since early this year. Over the past six months, more than 100,000 Facebook users offered constructive suggestions on the layout and features, many of which were included in the final version. Facebook uses feeds to deliver people news and information in a social context.

The evolution of the site design focuses on integrating powerful feed technology and the Wall, a forum for users and their friends to post comments, photos, videos and more, including content from third-party applications.

The Wall now surfaces more current and pertinent information, or "stories", about a user and their friends' on Facebook.

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Users have complete control over the stories published on their profile. They also have the ability to adjust the size and prominence of stories and can choose between having one-line stories, short or full stories. One-line stories are one sentence long, while short stories include thumbnail photos or content and full stories display large, noticeable images.

Located on the Wall tab, the Publisher feature enables users to create more content than ever and in a centralized place. From the Publisher, a user can add photos, upload video, or write notes, rather than navigating to each individual application.

Similarly, users can add content to their friends' profiles through the Publisher on their profiles. The top menu is similar to the old design and allows users to access their Profile, Friends, and Inbox. The left hand applications menu has been moved to the 'Applications' link on the top of the menu screen.

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The Profile is now split out into four different tabs. Users are also able to add individual tabs for their favorite applications. This gives users greater control over their profiles and makes navigation faster and easier.

Third-party applications are more tightly integrated into Facebook in order to make using applications simpler and more seamless.

Users will have the option to interact with an application before adding it, grant it access to their information, and decide where they want it placed, if at all, on their profiles.

On Facebook, users choose what information they put in their profile, including contact and personal information, pictures, interests and groups they join. And they control the users with whom they share that information through the privacy settings on the Privacy page of their profile. The new design does not change any of the privacy settings previously selected by the user. 

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