Facebook Changing Layout Again

Here we go again.

Facebook announced today that they are changing their layout (again)… The change is set for next Wednesday and I am expecting it to take about a month for me to get used to it again. The new layout will be in real time, will have your newsfeed front and center and have a column of trending topics on the side.

Sound familiar? Those first on the scene are calling it a echo of Twitter, Twitter Search and Friendfeed.

Much like Twitter – Facebook is leaning towards being about content sharing versus about just building your profile and keeping up with friends. You can even now ‘follow’ people without being their friend. Read their updates and page info without them accepting your relationship. I think this model of a friend is definitely taken from Twitter.

Is real time killing traditional media? This dramatic shift to making everything in real time is making me think. If I need news, articles, top stories I am no longer checking the paper, the nightly news, or even CNN.com.I am checking Twitter and Facebook to see who is talking about what and when.

This real time shift on Facebook will emphasize that you can stay on the site longer rather than checking back now and again to see what your friends are doing. The site currently is on about a 15 minute delay of posted items in the News Feed section.

Other changes to Facebook

  • Pages (business, clubs, groups) will now be able to update their status through their admins
  • Monitor people you want to hear more or less from – So you can still add thousands of friends even if you don’t want to hear about them
  • “Arrington” feature allowing you to share with more than the current 5,000 friend limit
  • New launch partners with pages coming soon: CNN, U2 and Barack Obama

With Facebook’s incredible popularity I expect to hear some grumbles from some of the more simple Facebook users. I am also thinking Facebook may be changing the definition of a ‘friend’ as we know it. A tool once used for college student to be in touch has morphed into a huge entity where being a ‘friend’ means both parties don’t have to acknowledge their friendship.

A ‘friend’ is more about sharing content than information about themselves and holy smokes…. I don’t’ know what I would DO if I had 5,000 real friends! With the new feature to hear more of less from a ‘friend’ you can mute their content from your page and they will have no idea. I see this being a problem for some businesses who are trying to use Facebook to reach consumers.

What do you think about the new layout plans? Who will benefit and who will struggle? Does anyone really need 5,000 ‘friends’? Are your facebook friends your real friends?

Photo Credit: ReadWriteWeb

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