Facebook profiles get major redesign: Will you opt to change your page?
Facebook has undergone so many tweaks and changes to its design over the years, a new facelift should not make the news anymore. Besides, the changes amounted to just tiny tweaks to the font size and small rearrangements of lists and groups. On Sunday night, though, Facebook's profile page got a major overhaul.
The change coincided with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's first televised interview since "The Social Network," came out in September. "60 Minutes'" social media director said the change is Facebook's way of breaking the ice for its users. Profile pages now put all personal information at the top of the page and shows similarities between friends on the right side of the page. For instance, if I visit my brother's page I see a bunch of his recent photographs, I see where he works, goes to school and when is his birthday. Plus, on the righthand side, there is a box about our friendship that includes how many friends we have in common, mutually tagged photos, etc.
It's an opt-in choice, perhaps heeding some of the criticism that Facebook rarely asks its users before making site-wide changes, though the company does say it will be rolling the pages out gradually. Users may be forced into the change at some future date.
The profile pages do look much more appealing thanks to the photographs across the top, making some attempt to address the overarching ugly look of the site. However, to my cynical mind, the change does more to benefit Facebook than it does to benefit users. It handily offers up more user information -- not by making any change to privacy settings or what information is shared -- but by encouraging users to add much more about themselves.
Facebook never knew where I worked, or what city I lived in, because I never paid any attention to my information page. But now with that information displayed prominently up top -- there is more motivation for me to share that information with friends, and subsequently with Facebook.
Also, the redesign makes me want to add more "likes" to my page. The more detailed information I give to Facebook, the more similarities I can see between me and my friends.
This is a bad thing only if you don't want Facebook to know your deep, abiding love for Pee Wee Herman, or any other information you'd prefer to keep off the site. Otherwise, it's just one more way to enhance your digital-social interaction with your friends by rewarding those people who add more information to their pages.
If you have questions about the changes, add your questions to the comments, or send us a tweet by using the hashtag #wpchat. Here's some questions Rob and I answered:
The new profile page is not showing up for me. How do I get it?
Go to facebook.com/about/profile.
Can you revert to the old Facebook profile page if you've already accepted the new one?
No. It seems that once you've accepted the new style, you've accepted the new style. There is no going back. The new style will be rolled out throughout the year, so at some point, your page may switch over whether you like it or not.
Does this publish any more information about me?
No, this just rearranges what people see first. Your existing privacy settings remain intact.
How do I edit the set of photos Facebook automatically puts on my profile?
To remove one from that gallery, just click the small "x" that will appear in its top-right cursor if you leave the cursor there for a moment. This won't delete the photo itself or untag you from it, but it does serve to clean up redundant or poorly-composed pictures.
How does the new layout affect business pages?
It doesn't. The public pages companies, schools, organizations and individuals can set up to promote themselves work the same as ever. But I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the new profile design migrate over to pages later on.
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