Facebook Caves, Tweaks Redesign10:25 AM EST Wed. Mar. 25, 2009
Two weeks after launching a ballyhooed redesign of Facebook, the social networking site has responded to users' criticism by, in effect, saying: You may be right.
The new look and feel was meant to offer Facebook users a similar experience to that of Twitter. More emphasis was placed on realtime conversations and updates, and various filters were added. But the changes brought confusion and irritation to a small but vocal portion of followers, some 45,000 of which comprised the "I Hate The New Facebook" user group.
In addition, a petition with 1.7 million signatures began circulating asking that Facebook scrap the new design. That 1.7 million represented 1 percent of the total 175 million registered on Facebook. Initially, Facebook did not respond to concerns, seemingly taking a "change is hard" attitude.
Tuesday, however, Facebook said that it will make changes to the site based on the thousands of pieces of feedback it has received since its latest revamp. In the Facebook Blog, Chris Cox, Facebook's director of product, wrote that a number of specific areas of concern will be addressed: The site will add more control and relevance in the stream; highlights will update more frequently and will show more content; and design changes will help users locate features and apps more easily.
Specifically, auto updating will be added shortly to eliminate the need to refresh the page. Tagged photos will (once again) be in the stream, and filters will be added to control (i.e., reduce) application content that friends share into their friend's streams.
"Your feedback means a lot, and we sort through everything we receive," wrote Cox. A good customer service move, especially if Facebook wants to one day monetize the site. And that is surely coming.