(Part 1 of 2) The new Facebook is coming. Facebook, the product that brought a whole new meaning to information and application overload, is about to release their new Facebook vision, one with focus.
After adjusting to (and it took a few days of frequent interaction) the re-worked and refined Facebook experience, 2 themes stood out above all others, namely..
- Encouraging greater communications and sharing
- Discouraging “excessive” application installation and usage
In Part 1 let’s…
Focus on Communicating
The new user experience is evident from the very moment of logging-in. Perhaps the very first thing that all users will now notice, and are driven to notice, is the new action area on their homepage.
Whenever a user returns to Facebook, they are brought to the homepage and, immediately presented with quick actions for communicating and sharing. This is a concept that is altogether absent from today’s currently available experience.
Clicking on any of the options within this new action region jumps the user directly to their Profile page, with the prompt for the desired content automatically displayed. This is direct, quick & easy.
The Profile page, like the Home page, has also been revamped to encourage and facilitate communications and sharing of user generated content (UGC) – from status to links and photos, and more.
The user’s attention is focused on the main component of the page, the Wall; which has been improved with rapidly applicable filters (all posts, my posts, other people’s posts) and easy to use settings.
Facebook‘s next generation presents a revived and clear focus on communications. Much of this new functionality reverberates considerably with the capabilities inherent to newer services, most apparently, Twitter and Friendfeed. The new communications emphases will assuredly drive more people to the micro-exchanges of status and the like.
Interestingly, if this implementation had been Facebook‘s original implementation, maybe there would be no Twitter or Friendfeed. But this is not the case. This newer implementation, not yet the default for Facebook, did not come first. Twitter and Facebook (and other similar online products) fulfilled the need, filling the micro-communication and micro-sharing void that was present.
While the improvement in Facebook represents a very positive step forward, a very nice addition, Facebook is now following some well established alternatives. For these improved communications to maximize along the path of user experience, they will need to employ Modular Innovation. It will be a mistake if they choose to take the path of challenging the Twitters and Friendfeeds, instead of embracing them. Everyone will benefit from improved integration and 3rd-party data exchange capabilities. For example, allowing users and products 2-way integration and interaction, permitting the use of either Twitter (or Friendfeed) or Facebook to not just be able to import data, but also export and share data between the products, would provide a seamless online experience for the user, allowing the user to check for updates and post updates from either platform — benefiting both the fans and companies of Facebook and Twitter (and other products) while simultaneously strengthening the product-product and product-user relationships.
More and more people, every day, are trying out the new Facebook, especially the new communications experience. Will the new product, the new Facebook, succeed in increasing user communication and interaction or will the result prove to be a blurry jumble of ideas?
Check back next week as we look further into the new Facebook, in the second part of this 2 part series about the new Facebook experience, and explore what these changes mean for the users, as well as everyone else, who use, experience and benefit from Facebook.
The Product Guy
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