Sign in on the subdomain www.new.facebook.com and you’re greeted “Welcome to the new Facebook.” And indeed it is. Facebook is unveiling a new redesign, and the long-tested tabbed profile pages aren’t the only changes.
If you don’t feel like signing in yourself, here’s a screenshot and explanation.
Very obviously, the layout of the Facebook site is changing. As promised, the left navigation is gone, moved up into the top nav. (The Applications link has a mouse-over drop down menu which includes the photos, groups and other navigation elements that were listed out separately on the sidebar.) The search bar has also moved to the top nav, to the upper right corner. The new full-screen layout will probably cause division among the hardcore Facebook fans (just because everything Facebook does causes some dissent).
The News Feed also adds a small “comment” link after every item which adds a comment within the News Feed (Lisa, you’ll have to tell me how that shows up for you). (And Ryan, yes, of course it’s a joke. Happy anniversary! 0:D .)
The new profile page features the tabbed design previewed for the past few months, but with a few changes:
From left to right, shall we? In the left-hand column, they list a little bit of information (networks, relationship, birthday, but not something like gender?), friends and photos. There’s also a place now to “write something about yourself” just below your profile picture. Perhaps this is the new “About me” box on for the default profile page?
The default tab in the center column, Wall, integrates the old Mini-feed and the Wall. Above that, however, is the much-touted “Publisher,” which includes quick links to update status, add photos and links, write on your own wall, etc. The new wall can filter posts by the owner of the profile (basically the old Mini-feed, plus whatever they wrote on their own wall) or others. You can also choose to display your stories on the wall as a single line, a “short” or a “full,” slightly different layouts.
Other tabs include Info, where all the basic stats that used to be on the profile page are from education to work to website to favorite TV shows; Photos, where . . . you have ten guesses; and whatever tabs you choose to add for various applications.
Perhaps most interesting is the move of the ads to the right-hand column, where they’ll probably receive less attention. Also interesting is seeing more than one ad displayed at a time, something which the old layout rarely if ever did with the ads in the left-hand column below the old navigation (and depending on how many applications you had listed, possibly below the fold).
AllFacebook also lists another minor change: The friends page will now list your friends lists on the left-hand side instead of the right.
The new design is expected to become the default soon. In all, the design emphasizes the social aspect of Facebook. Read Write Web says that this is a sign that Facebook, like its users, is growing up. To me, though, it looks less like growing up and more like cleaning up their room.