Facebook provides more redesign details

Facebook said that its redesign of the profile page will include tabs to better organize information

Facebook is disclosing more details about the planned redesign for its core member profile pages, as it attempts to regain the layout's orderly, streamlined look that had been one of its trademarks and a differentiator from competitors like MySpace.

The latest plans in Facebook's ongoing redesign efforts call for profile pages to evolve from a single repository of content and applications into a tabbed interface.

The goal is to let users organize in these tabbed sub-pages the various components of their profiles, such as the activity feed, photos, personal information and applications.

Facebook members can see the latest screenshots in this album and view this video of a presentation held Wednesday by company officials about the redesign plans.

At the event, Chamath Palihapitiya, Facebook's vice president of product marketing, explained that the interface changes are intended to make profiles cleaner and simpler and give users more control over their look and feel, and emphasize the most recent and relevant information.

"We need to take a step forward with respect to the user experience and the UI that we present to the consumer because the amount of information that's being created both passively and proactively is increasing," he said.

No doubt this is due to Facebook's membership explosive growth and the company's decision a year ago to let external developers create applications for the site. Facebook currently has about 70 million members and about 20,000 applications.

Still Facebook must be careful about how its redesign affects a member's experience, as in the past some of its changes have riled users and industry observers.

The activity feed feature was blasted by users as violating their privacy, as was the Beacon ad program that broadcast online transactions made by Facebook's users to their friends list.

Already, there have been some early grumblings among external developers concerned that the redesigned profile page will steal visibility from their applications.

But Palihapitiya argued that the redesign will do the opposite rather, and generate instead "a more meaningful engagement with users" for applications by offering new integration opportunities in the profiles.

Facebook plans to let developers and members test the redesign before launching it formally next month.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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