3 things I like best about the Facebook homepage design Oct 2009
- Live Feed is back
- Live Feed items are larger than they appeared last time before Mar 2009
- “More about these friends” option is back
The new homepage design blends relationship and content:
- Friend adding updates are back
- High-lights are now omitted, that area is for suggestions to improve relationship
@anhhung wrote a review on Mimo, the Twitter clone that supports SMS as I had envisioned.
I don’t intend to dig further on Mimo. Just this thought crossed my mind:
When an original product innovates, it creates a gap with its clones. This gap either forces to clone to chase the cloned, or allows the clone to innovate and differentiate itself.
If the second action is taken, an opportunity has been realized.
1. I intend to ask this question from those who don’t like the redesign in October 2009: “Had you been using Facebook before March 2009?”
The reason is that I was fine with Facebook’s newsfeed prior March 2009. When they redesigned to move to content in March 2009, I backed out from the site. Then I love it again after the October 2009.
2. A note on usability: “Edit Options” of Live Feed should be put on top of the newsfeed, where “News Feed” and “Live Feed” are, not at the bottom
3. Things Facebook can improve:
- Categorize feed items. Some want to filter types of items. e.g. hide “my friend adds abc as friend” items
- “Show More” should also provide options for feed item type, besides friends
Social media begins to look less social and it need to be so because:
Major online communities usually start with a small group of smart, motivated, everybody-knows-everbody contributors. After crossing critical mass, such communities start to attract more users which is a good thing. The bad thing is that trolls also jump in. What’s more, noise and irrelevant information start to emerge from clueless or, worse, malicious posters.
Two types of community are somewhat immune to such annoyance:
- Social networks, led by Facebook , with which you determine your social graph of those you care about
- Services which you determine the content you want, led by Twitter. Others may include Tumblr, twine, squidoo. Addendum: Twitter got better with lists.
I’m sorry, Digg.
What’s the solution? Channel, possibly?
I quickly noted here and here that Facebook was in its interim period.
That period lasted for half a year from March 2009 to October 2009.
This is the visualization of the shift in Facebook’s direction.
What was Facebook intention for moving toward content in the first place
- Experiments for innovation. Even Mark was surprised that web games was loved so well
- Competition with Twitter
Why the move back in October 2009 makes sense
Firstly, the most Facebook can be is a content aggregator and hosting, not a critical content creation platform. Holding the position on the content side is not sustainable.
Secondly, content on Facebook serves the purpose of building relationship. The key is still relationship.Abandoningrelationship to be on the content extremity was not sustainable either.
The shift to maintain balance between relationship and content leaves creates a gap between Facebook itself and its clones. e.g. Zing Me
And a gap is an opportunity.