Good ol’ Mark Zuckerberg and Co. is wreaking havoc on the non-conformists again with the new profile changes. I began to suspect that something was happening when I saw a Facebook Page with a skinny newsfeed and the tabs were located underneath the profile picture, but I had no idea that personal profiles would be changed – maybe I should pay even closer attention to tech news. Let’s jump in to these recent developments and see why the changes were made!
PROFILES SHARE MORE INFO
Billions upon billions of dollars are being spent on Facebook advertisements, it is by far one of the best ways to hyper-target the audience you desire. The new changes give more room for advertisements on the pages, but squeezes the newsfeed. Old Facebook ads used to include an image, and below it was the text. Now the images are on the left, and the info is on the right. Facebook has also added a philosophy section, favorite sports teams, as well as a “people who inspire you” area. Anytime you share more information on Facebook, it allows them to collect content and advertise more effectively. One update that I am a huge fan of, is the ability to add projects to your “work experience” section. Many projects people undertake provide value to one’s career, yet do not necessarily classify as a job.
I always thought Facebook was a little cluttered, but these changes will make a minimalist CRY! I love sharing information with my friends, I believe it is a part of the Facebook experience, yet this has added to the clutter. Not only are Facebook ads larger, but they decided to include a “Photo” Bar on people’s profiles which does very little to add to the viewing experience. It reminds me of Myspace’s attempt at this feature – a utter failure. Most of my photos on this “bar” cut off my face, leaving people to stare at my groin – I doubt this is providing any value to the person stalking me.
NEWSFEED = SMALLER
The newsfeed is Facebook’s bread and butter, WHY ARE THEY MAKING IT SMALLER? The newsfeed is the real-time aggregator that DRIVES people to visit Facebook – they want to see what’s NEW! I am surprised that Facebook would do this, yet they have over 500 million people connected and addicted. It reminds me of consumer behavior class – they are trying to make a “just noticeable difference.” Well I certainly noticed, but many people won’t. Also on a side note, with mobile use rising rapidly, maybe they are just optimizing the feed for mobile devices? That could be a possibility.
“Yo Steve, why am I not on your “top friends” list?” Once again, the days of Myspace are upon us once again! Thankfully Facebook did not incorporate this as heavily as Myspace, but creating a place for these lists to be displayed (your profile) is a subtil, sneaky, yet BRILLIANT move on Facebook’s part. One of the major concerns with Facebook is the amount of friends one has. Some of my friends have over 1,500 – 2,000 friends. Research has been done, and apparently we can only follow approximately 150 friends (and maintain a meaningful relationship.) This was one of the ways the rumored “Google Me” could take down Facebook. It seems to me like Facebook has countered the critics by creating a place where these friend lists are utilized. I believe that this change is an important first step to reducing “friend” clutter, yet I expect more changes in the near future.
By promoting certain “likes” and making them essentially “loves”, I am willing to bet that Facebook uses this information to target advertisements to your top interests. This only makes sense. This change is not new, yet the new profile makes more room to showcase your interests. My friends can now see the artists, authors, and movies that I LOVE.
Overall, I am impressed with the changes, yet I am not impressed at all with the clutter. My only question is, “When does Facebook Questions go live?”