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Facebook's New Face Draws Criticism

     
2:37 pm on Sep 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Facebook's New Face Draws [usatoday.com] Criticism
Facebook's new face is drawing frowns from some of its users. They're grousing about a spanking new redesign intended to unclutter their profiles on the social network. Several groups requesting a return to the old design have surfaced, including one with 1 million members.

Facebook has shifted millions of users to its new design in a bid to draw more members and advertisers to a cleaner interface. Facebook's torrid growth it has added 90 million members the past two years has put it in a prime position to vie for an estimated $2 billion market for social-networking ads this year.

But the new look has rankled some. "It's really difficult to read, and I don't like the tabs that you have to go through to see the whole profile. I hate it," says Jenny Smelyanets, 22, a public relations specialist in Palo Alto, Calif.

2:44 pm on Sept 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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"It's really difficult to read, and I don't like the tabs that you have to go through to see the whole profile. I hate it,"

Well boo-hoo Jenny! Facebook basically has to do this to increase ad revenue and lower bandwidth usage because their massive user base is starting to lose them money.

3:51 pm on Sept 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Maybe they should have done a study and tried a few different layouts and found the one the most users liked.

It's one thing changing the design to build ad revenue but if you alienate the people who use it then there will not be any users there to get any revenue from (worst case scenario obviously).

3:54 pm on Sept 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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there will not be any users there to get any revenue from

The masses who use Facebook consistently are so addicted that they'll use it regardless of how it looks. They've made changes before...people complained, people got over it.

3:56 pm on Sept 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Well boo-hoo Jenny! Facebook basically has to do this to increase ad revenue and lower bandwidth usage because their massive user base is starting to lose them money.

There's a bit more to it than Jenny's petulant complaint I'm afraid. The new facebook is almost totally inaccessible to screen readers and other assistive technologies. It's a sorry, sorry state when a recode of a major site in this day and age ends up being a massive step backwards in accessibility.

4:37 pm on Sept 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The masses who use Facebook consistently are so addicted that they'll use it regardless of how it looks. They've made changes before...people complained, people got over it.

Not true. I was a fairly regular eBay user, (buyer and seller). When they rolled out the new Ajax design it made it very difficult to search the way I always had, (e.g.- on eBay motors, you need to jump through hoops to whittle down the search on multiple criteria --- on regular eBay searches keep defaulting to "best possible match" when I prefer "ending soonest" and set it that way).

I beta tested the new eBay interface a couple times, (on eBay motors first), gave them feedback, and in the end, everything I hated about it was rolled out anyway and I was "forced" to use it. My solution: I cut down my eBay activity by 95% since the interface change.

6:46 pm on Sept 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Can't they just make the new design the default (for people who don't care) and give those who do care a choice to switch back to the old design?
7:42 pm on Sept 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Can't they just make the new design the default (for people who don't care) and give those who do care a choice to switch back to the old design?

People complained about the status update wall. Facebook kept the wall. The complaints stopped. Facebook will just wait it out until people stop complaining.

10:10 pm on Sept 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It's actually quite the improvement once you get your head around the changes and *learn* how to *use* it. Massive improvement on the old site.
10:41 pm on Sept 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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its not about improvements, or whats better, its about what people want. Remember New Coke?
12:02 am on Sept 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have never done a redesign without a few folks complaining. Can't make everyone happy all the time. ;-)
12:46 am on Sept 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Is it really fair for us to comment on the new design? We deal with tech every day. Each new day brings changes which we adapt to and get on with it. I suspect most Facebook users are not that tech savvy so when something changes they get totally lost. I remember a client once who asked that I upgrade a piece of software I wrote for him from DOS to Windows; yes this was a while ago. When I delivered the product his secretary panicked and refused to use it even though the basic UI was identical to the DOS UI. I was writing DOS programs using what turned out to be the Windows UI style even before the days of Windows 95. Again, non-techie people usually hate change cause even though everything that was there before isn't where it used to be so they think it's gone.
12:57 am on Sept 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've used facebook for a while now and I have to say that the new layout is much harder to use than the previous version. I can see why users, especially non-tech savvy users, are having a hard time with it. It is cumbersome.
1:21 am on Sept 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I love the new layout, it is what made me start using Facebook..
2:17 am on Sept 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Very much dislike the new Facebook layout. Even understanding why the changes were made, I use it much less now because I can't even find my own "stuff".

Now it is just a lot more like Myspace, and people left Myspace in droves for the simpler Facebook

9:11 am on Sept 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Agree with JamesRock. Hey guys who can't find stuff, lol, you can customise most things and find them/use them at least 2-3 clicks faster. I'd say that's just a small improvement.
7:57 pm on Sept 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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New groups in Facebook have appeared:

1,000,000 AGAINST THE NEW FACEBOOK LAYOUT!
2,536,246 members

Petition Against the "New Facebook"
1,582,765 members

Please Keep the Old Facebook. The New Version is A Disaster
477,228 members

I PREFER THE OLD FACEBOOK'
309,507 members

8:26 pm on Sept 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Left Facebook because of the new design
0 members
7:01 am on Sept 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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saw an article lately, re how Facebook founder had managed to upset various former friends he'd worked with; but pressing onwards.

Now, seems the lad's not unduly bothered that also upset his users. (Tho at least Facebook did respond when people complained re Facebook spreading their info around)

Maybe I'm not using Facebook in ways various others do, but not too worried re new facebook vs old.

1:03 pm on Sept 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Even with all the opposition, that is still under 5% of their user population complaining. That is a success in my book if 95% are happy or don't care either way enough to say anything.

And we all know that folks are more prone to speak out about things they feel negatively about over any folks who like it. Just the way of the masses.

11:09 am on Sept 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The week has seen Facebook running slower than ever, and I suspect its because of increased amount of resources needed to run the new Facebook. Bet their servers are taking a bettering! They must be loose users just because of the frustrations of page loading.

If you Look under the hood of the new Facebook, its stuffed with amazing quantities of Javascript and different CSS style sheets files. I'm sure not every page needs that much Javascript. Will they just continue buying more servers or look at removing the redundant code and making it a more efficient Facebook?

[edited by: Seb7 at 11:10 am (utc) on Sep. 26, 2008]