Started in February 2004, Facebook is one of the largest social networking communities on the internet, second only to MySpace in terms of traffic. With expansion to both English speaking and non-speaking countries since its inception in the States and nearly 400 million active users worldwide, Facebook is a growing phenomenon. Some interesting statistics on the site can be found here.
Just as users were getting used to recent homepage enhancements, Facebook does it again! Celebrating its 6th anniversary, the site has rolled out some tweaks, seeking to make the homepage more search friendly and interactive. News reports suggest that 80 million Facebook users are already using the new interface.
Highlights of the changes that have been implemented:
- The search bar, powered by Microsoft, has been relocated from the right to a more prominent location at the left of the screen. It will now show results for people based on how closely they are connected to you i.e. how many friends you have in common, etc.
- Notifications have been relocated to the top left hand side of the page adjacent to the search bar making them much more accessible to users than before.
- Chat appears under the new Bookmarks section on the home page and the list of online friends is sorted by how often you talk to people among other factors.
- Messages, friend requests, photos, applications and games can be accessed through links on the left hand side column of the page.
President of The Marketing Chefs and expert on new media and online strategies Tricia Ryan feels that innovations such as these are required for staying ahead of the game. She also doesn’t feel that Facebook’s popularity will suffer due to the modifications in its look. However, Facebook fans have already started protesting the second revamp of the site’s homepage in recent times.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company would be releasing ‘something cool’ every month from now on, but gave no indication of what users are to expect. I guess we will just have to wait and see.
If the changes are showing up on your screen, what do you think and how are they working for you?