It's been discussed quite frequently amongst the developer set, but the mass rollout of the Facebook redesign is almost upon us.
After playing around with what seems to be a not-yet-fully-functional version for a while (leave it to Facebook to let us play with things before they're either done, or fully thought-through — and that's not a bad thing), I wanted to share my thoughts with you on what to expect, and how it might impact your advertising and marketing strategies on the 'book.
Here's what my profile looks like in the new redesign:
And here are my comments.
First of all, when I sign into Facebook, it seems that my 'home' page and my 'profile' page are the same thing. It's late, so I can't get immediate confirmation on whether or not there will be separate views (like what exists now), but I'll update this post if necessary.
Previously, Facebook went with a three-column format, but now there's only two. That means that the right-most column that was previously filled with new app messages and notifications is gone. Which means that profiles are lot cleaner — and a lot more difficult to get your custom-app featured on.
Those apps that used to line the right column now live within the 'Boxes' tab (first I've ever heard that term used on Facebook). When clicked, that tab expands to reveal all your installed applications, but also keeps them out of plain sight. Again, nice and tidy for users, but troublesome for marketers.
There are no ads on the page – yet – although I'm sure they will be there soon.
The main navigation (seen on the upper left) doesn't scale appropriately to the browser width. That's just unacceptable. But I imagine that will be fixed as well.
The news feed is even more front-and-center, making it even more important of goal for marketers to get into. That news feed is one of those things that make the 'social graph' go 'round.
Interestingly enough, the only link that seems to be fully functional is the 'photos' link. And I can assure you that the photos section is much more intuitive.
My assessment of the whole redesign? This isn't the whole redesign. It's incomplete (I hope). And while I just as easily could have waited until the final launch, I couldn't hold it in. This is an unfinished work. I feel like a critic reviewing an unedited film. In a way it's not fair. But if I can somehow influence the outcome and make it even better, it's worth it.
The early verdict is that it's going to be increasingly difficult to brand effectively on Facebook. And it's going to be increasingly difficult to launch new applications. But once you can connect with a consumer, their news feed looks to be even more important, and more powerful.
There will DEFINITELY be a follow up post here, but sleep well knowing that if you stay tuned, you'll be among the first to get the marketing/advertising POV.
But I'm curious…what's YOUR initial reaction?
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