“The New FaceBook”…or, “We Fear Change”

Most of us engage in social media everyday and a huge percentage of us are devout FaceBook users. You have probably noticed several particularly large sweeping changes over the last few weeks since the launch of Google+. Now that Google has completed beta testing and opened their new social platform to the public, many more drastic changes are anticipated from FaceBook in the coming weeks as the two giants continue to battle for market supremacy.

New FaceBook Changes

Mashable has reported that FaceBook plans to implement a major user profile redesign at its F8 Developer Conference tomorrow. While the specifics are vague, reports from two anonymous sources have stated that the redesign is “major” and will initially be focused on increasing time on site for users and to make FaceBook profiles a “nexus” for consuming content.

Other reports state that this roll out is just one component of a much larger roll out that will be followed with a music and media platform. FaceBook appears to have made several agreements with a number of companies to feed content from what users are watching or listening from around the web and feed this information into their FaceBook profiles in real-time to share this media with others. Spotify, Rhapsody, Vevo and Rdio are believed to be the first of FaceBook’s new media partners.

This appears to be only the first tier of major revisions coming to FaceBook. There are rumors of a FaceBook app store and that the redesigned profiles are part of a larger push into social ecommerce. Some sources believe that FaceBook intends to give FaceBook Credits more prominence as well.

The social media giant is reported to be working on something called “Project Spartan”, which is a HTML5 version of its platform that would become a distribution mechanism for Web applications through Apple’s mobile Safari browser. At this point however, FaceBook has been very tight-lipped and has not confirmed any of these rumors.

Some of the more recent changes from FaceBook include:

  • View Shares button allows users to see how their content is distributed.
  • Updated lists and Smart Lists, which can auto-generate lists based on location or how people know each other.
  • Custom URLs for new Pages. Previously, 25 fans were needed before a Page could set their custom URL. Not anymore.
  • Poke Button has gone into hiding into a dropdown menu at the top right of a users profile.
  • Page Messages, users will no longer be able to send messages to fans as of September 30.

Many of us will be waiting the new changes with baited breath this Thursday to see what changes will be announced and to find out when they might be implemented. I know that many of my contacts cringe when they find out that FaceBook is about to, or has made changes to the platform, so I try to remind them that change in the social networking world normally brings about positive change…and that no, they will not revert back to the previous version no matter how many people sign a petition to change it back. 🙂

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