The Twitter Effect: Facebook’s New Look


For whatever reason days after the newest new Facebook page design reveal I am still sporting the old model. Perhaps they are not rolling out to all people until they fix some bugs?

My husband however has been sporting the new page for days and he, like most Facebook readers that I have run across, are having trouble adjusting. The common complaint seems to be that the interface is chaotic and “crazy”. Sounds like people are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of content coming at them as opposed to the more static Facebook they have grown to know and love.

The Weigh In

Even though I am not yet using the new interface since Facebook has not seen fit to give it to me yet I am going to weigh in on it. Because hey, this is my blog and whose gonna stop me anyway right?

Facebook decided to take on Twitter face on with their new design. The idea is clearly to become more “Twitter-like” in the real time interaction factor. I am calling it “The Twitter Effect.” (Yes, super creative. I know. You can congratulate me in the comments below. Probably already been used by a million other people.) Fact is that you can toss a rock without hitting someone who is talking about Twitter right now. Martha Stewart used the word “Twitterizing” (if memory serves me incorrectly no jumping on me if I got her fake word wrong) on her show yesterday for goodness sake. That’s right, Martha Stewart! Facebook would be silly to not take notice and make some plans to try to keep their users from jumping ship.

And despite the fact that I do not have the new interface yet I am going to going out on a limb and say that the boost to real time conversation interactivity I do believe is working. In the last two days I have had three or four back and forth conversations building off of people’s status messages that have run on for several minutes. I can only guess that this effect is taking place because of the changes. I am actually now really curious to see how this back and forth feels in the new page when I get it.

Yes, like many I tend to initially hate change. You would have thought the world was coming to an end about a week ago when they made the changes to the Facebook (fan/biz) Pages. The drama that afternoon was second to none. But I learned the new terrain and I do see the many benefits it can offer.

I am sure the chaos of the new Profile page will be off-putting for me at first, but I will quickly adjust and learn to use and love it.  I distinctly remember the overwhelmed feeling I got when I first tuned into Twitter. So much content flying at me I had no idea what to do. Now 1891 posts later, and hovering around number eight in Baltimore last time I checked, I don’t know what I did without Twitter. I am sure the same will soon be said of the new Facebook for me.

When I first joined Facebook it was prior to the first new page layout and I found the place a dead wasteland in comparison to MySpace and quickly tuned right back out. But much later I took another look and it was post change. The place had changed drastically. There was a lot more activity and conversation. It wasn’t long before I was hooked in. At that time there were still many old-time Facebook users who were pining for the old days and saying how much they hated the new design. I’d hazard a guess that the numbers of those people have dwindled drastically.  The same will happen with this new design.

Update: Got my new page this afternoon (3/13/09). At the risk of getting a beat down I much prefer the new design. No clue what all the complaining is about. Puts what people are up to front and center and I seem to be missing much less now. The filtering in the left hand sidebar is great.  What’s the problem folks? Well except that with Twitter it feels awfully redundant to me.