As we’ve heard before, Facebook is gearing up for yet another redesign. As we saw in leaked screenshots two weeks ago, Facebook is going to start sorting news feeds by Recent Activity and Top News stories (the ones with the most comments or likes). That change is supposed to also reduce load time, and relegates the Publisher box to an “Update Status” button.
So the new news in the latest leaks: Mashable has a four-page PDF from Facebook to its advertisers that outlines the changes they’ve made, and why. In addition to the aforementioned changes to the news feed, they’re adding back a lot of the friend activity information that was filtered out after the last redesign.
Other important changes come from the Engagement ads and fan pages. As the PDF for advertisers explains, Facebook is working to help its advertisers receive good placement, so they’re adding fanning, RSVPs for events and virtual gifts to the news feed. (I know, just what you were waiting for.)
This will move these events out of the right-hand column, which would also make ads placed there more prominent.
FB says that their new pages will increase fan signups:
The opportunity to acquire Fans increases with this new home page design. This is due to several reasons including the migration of Fan stories into the center stream, and the increase in “Suggestions” from one to two connections.
They’re also premiering new layouts for Groups (and this one has already rolled out). In a blog post Monday, Facebook said that they’re revamping Groups pages to make them more like profiles and fan pages, and to surface more info to make it easier for members to keep up with group activities. You can also sort your news feed to show only stories from your groups (which isn’t a new feature, I believe, just a reminder).
In all, this “redesign” is more of a tweak to the last one. While no change will ever be well-received 100% by a group as big as FB’s user base, the “less is more” approach will probably lead to less opposition.
What do you think? Will this redesign go over well? Will there be as much protest this time around?