After the disastrous launch and eventual user acceptance of Facebook’s news feed and profile pages last year, you would have thought that the company wouldn’t mess with the site too much more for a while. But no – it doesn’t want users getting too comfortable, so next Wednesday there’ll be a new homepage.
It looks like Twitter. There’s no two ways about it. With the status box massive and front-and-centre, there’s a definite homage going on. The feed below is now real-time too, so you can see stories appear as they happen. That feature’s been around for a while but previously it wasn’t the default option.
But one feature that Facebook’s adding to the mix is filters. If you’ve got friend groups set up then you can choose to view the updates from just one group or another. That could definitely prove useful for power users, or those with very distinct friendship circles. You can also view feeds from your friends in specific Facebook groups that you’re a member of, which is quite nifty.
This is a definite improvement to the site, and should help it compete against the attention draw from Twitter, especially as Facebook’s biggest asset is that almost everyone you know is on it – something not true of its media-darling competitor.
It’s a bit of a blatant copy and should probably have been rolled into the previous update, but I suspect that many mainstream users will hardly notice the change and as a result, there won’t be the mass user revolts that have characterized previous changes to the world’s favourite social network.
(via Business Insider)
Microsoft is turning “Live” into a social network. That’s what seems to be at the core of the big changes that will be happening to Live.com over the next day or so. Instead of just being a search box, it’s getting activity and contact information from around the web – a ‘news feed’ of sorts.
If you want to check it out early, you can. It’s at home.live.com. It’s about using existing connections to build your network, so that you don’t have to go through the rigmarole of ‘adding’ people yet again. Anyone that you’re friends with on MSN Messenger automatically becomes a connection, and you can see what they’re upto on a variety of different sites.
I’ve just returned from a delightful morning with Yahoo!, who gave me a preview of all the exciting stuff they’ve got planned for 2009. They’ve innovating in several key areas, but the push is on making the user experience more social and more open.
Facebook have suddenly, without warning, updated their homepage. It’s nice, too. Gone are the bullet points on why you should sign up, and in their place is a nice map emphasizing the global nature of the social “utility”.