in regular

Thoughts on the new, new Facebook

So the new Facebook profile is on its way. Those of us nerds who couldn’t wait or just wanted to see it in the flesh, used developer accounts to get dibs on early viewing. Here are some random thoughts that were induced by me wanting to talk about the social music features. 

The news feed features don’t seem to be working as well as I think they could be, since they’re really focused on people you interaction with regularly as far as I can tell. So you miss stuff.

But as far as the new profile is concerned…I think I like it. It seems like the right type of evolution of the Facebook profile that hasn’t changed a ton. The little photos was the first step and so, I think the desire was eyecatching the first time I saw it. 

One thing a lot of people have said is the uncomfortableness of having to go back and look at things in your timeline you’d rather not be reminded of. I’m guessing this is old relationship stuff for some people. The manual process of deleting everything or hiding things seems onerous. 

The other thing about the current changes that could be implemented better is the whole “subscription” business. Having to go on each person’s profile to determine which updates you’d like seems like a lot of work. Not to mention that friends lists have been relegated in a sense. While they’re great for privacy purposes, that’s effectively all they seem to be good for in the new setup. (Admittedly, I don’t display my friends list publicly most of the time to anyone. So it doesn’t really matter to me.)

What really matters to me are the music features. For ages, I’ve been frustrated by Facebook’s inability to really log what I listen to in other services. The last.fm apps have long been foiled and the changes to Facebook’s applications system so much had previously limited what was available. Now? If you’re a streaming music type — specifically one of those who uses Rdio or Spotify among others — you’re able to integrate your music listening into your profile. I like this for the most aware of my friends, as it does increase sociability and gives the utility value beyond inane status updates and all-important life issues. (Or anything in-between.)

That said, we’ll hear grumbling as we do when this really hits the mainstream media starting tomorrow and next week when it finally rolls out on Thursday and people get a whiff of it. It’s a huge departure from how Facebook has worked, but I think it’s a real reflection on how the social web has changed and is a pivot towards working how people interact in the digital space. 

Whether that holds up in the end or not, we’ll be able to find out real soon.