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Facebook’s (Semi) Annual Redesign

Whether they’re trying to keep us from going design-blind or they just get bored with their layout periodically, Facebook has regular redesigns. But the new features and redesigns aren’t always popular, and Facebook users seem highly resistant to change.

But apparently it’s time for a bunch of new “i h8 the new lay out” groups to crop up, because Facebook has confirmed to The Next Web that they’re testing a new layout for the top news/recent updates pages.

For side-by-side comparison purposes, here’s the old layout:
current fb

And the new:
fb new1

fb new2

The major differences include losing the publisher box, which Facebook was so excited about with this redesign. Instead an “Update Status” button appears in the upper right. This frees up more real estate in the center column for friends’ updates, photos, wall posts, etc.

Another new feature is the separate “Top News” page (the second screen shot above), which appears to sort stories by the number of likes or comments they’ve received.

While the new features may be useful, they may also be perceived as just more clutter. Facebook users are fickle people, it seems—but it’s awfully hard to please hundreds of millions of people.

What do you think? Do you like the new layouts? Have you seen these tests?