Thursday, January 13, 2011

Facebook Blows It Again with Their New Profile

I have probably complained more about Facebook than other site in this blog. I must admit that as a social network site it is very useful in staying in touch with old friends, acquaintances through business or one's pursuits, and even making new friends. Obviously as much as I have complained about Facebook there is a the site. Quite simply, that downside is that Facebook consistently and regularly makes changes which reduce the functionality of the site.

Facebook's latest scheme to apparently drive every one of its users away is a new profile design. Sadly, this new design seems as if it was made to reduce social interaction than people rather than encourage it. Below is a screen cap of the old profile design:

Quite frankly, what had become the old profile for hardly ideal. Facebook had done away with profile boxes, the one means people had of personalising their profiles (and,. yes, I complained about that too). That having been said, it was superior in most ways to the new profile. One's latest status update (basically what one was thinking or doing at the time) was displayed prominently at the top of the profile. This is very important, as it encouraged interaction between friends on Facebook. Friends could comment on someone's status and often lively conversations would emerge. In fact, I know a good number of people who actually use their status to host discussions.

While you cannot see it on this screen cap, below the information  box on the left sidebar was the friends' box. On the profile one could control which friends were displayed. This was particularly handy in that one could reach his or her closest friends' profiles, those he or she interacted on a regular basis swiftly and easily. Another advantage of the old profile was that it was not crowded with images and other junk. It was very easy to read.

Below is a screen capture of the new profile:

As you can see, the status update is not at the top as it was on the old profile. Indeed, to even see someone's latest status update, one has to scroll down his or her profile! This would actually seem to discourage personal interaction. Certainly commenting on someone's status, let alone holding discussions under someone's status, becomes more difficult. So what is at the top of one's profile? One's birthday, one's work and education information, one's current location and one's hometown. Now most of my friends, even those I only know online, already know where I work, or at least what I do for a living. Most of my friends, even those I only know online, already know where I live. Indeed, a good many of them have my street address! For those who don't know what I do for a living or where I live, they could simply click on Info as they always have. Quite frankly, having one's work, home, and education information at the top of one's page is useless, as it can be accessed through Info. The status update should be there. By the way, I deleted my work and education information in protest of the new profile design.

Now they could have simply place the status update below the birthday, work, education, and home information, but I suppose that would have been too nice of Facebook. Instead what is below the birthday, work, education, et. al. information is a row of pictures in which one is either tagged or which are from one's galleries. You can't see it on this screen capture as I deleted the row of pictures. My reason for doing so is that these pictures simply make the page look crowded. For that matter, so does the birthday, business, home, et. al. information at the top.

Although you can't see it in this screen capture, the Friends' box is still in the same place it was on the old profile. There is just one problem. One cannot edit who is shown in the box! This makes it more difficult to get to the profiles of those friends one interacts with the most, as they may or may not be featured in the box. Like not featuring the status update at the top of the page, this would seem to hinder personal interaction. True, one can create Friends Lists for his or her closest friends, but why should he or she have to?

As I have said before, Facebook seems as if it has a death wish. They seem to be determined to drive away every one of their users. They have consistently made changes that have been unpopular with users, and have done so with a frequency that is alarming. It seems quite apparent that they do not listen to user feedback. Is it any wonder Facebook's  user satisfaction rating is a little bit above the IRS?

The shame is that Facebook was a very good idea. It has more users than any other social networking site. It is for that reason I hold out the blind hope that they might listen to complaints and change the new profile design, despite the fact that they have a long history of not responding to users' complaints about the site. If you want to give feedback on the new profile design, you can do so here. You can also complain to Facebook's Twitter, which is here. It's a long shot, but maybe if they receive enough complaints, they'll change the new profile design so it is more like the old one.


Gabrielle Vaneese said...

Facebook = status updates

They were built on the status update, so much so that Twitter was called Facebook statuses, when it first started getting popular.

Losing the main thing they brought to the game is a stupid, stupid move.

Millie said...

I hate this new version so much!

AND, along with everything you mentioned I hate that they took away videos and links from the sidebar. ARGGHHHH!

Great post! :-D