The Social Network may have been the best thing to happen to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. Though the film portrayed the co-founder negatively, and inaccurately, it’s made him a person of interest. People want to know more about Facebook and the company has done a remarkable job of raising its stature in recent months, rolling out new features with teases and high profile events, much like Apple. Facebook Deals and new Social Inbox attracted mainstream attention, and on 60 Minutes this weekend, Zuckerberg revealed the social network’s new redesigned profile pages, the first major change to profiles since tabs were introduced in May 2008.
Facebook is becoming a lot more visual. Tabs are now gone, as you can see in this picture, courtesy of Forbes. In the new design–which will slowly roll out to all FB users in the next couple months–tabs now appear as buttons in the left column that sit below an enlarged profile picture. To the right of the profile picture are more photos. The new design strongly emphasizes tagged and uploaded photos, displaying your last five pictures in a row across the profile page. Sports is getting its own Interests section as well. It, along with other categories like Music, Television, and Movies are also displayed with pictures associated with them.
Above the photos is what Facebook is calling “conversation starters,” or a series of brief factoids about your life. For example, under Mark Zuckerberg’s name it says: ““* Has worked at Facebook since 2004 * Lives in Palo Alto, California * Studied Computer Science at Harvard University * From Dobbs Ferry, New York * Born on May 14, 1984.” None of this information is new, so there are no new privacy concerns, but the redesign is puts your life front and center.
Other new features include:
- A featured friends section is in the left column, which lets you choose groups of friends you’d like to be prominently displayed.
- A new experiences enhancement that lets you add projects you worked on at your job, classes you took in school, and list who participated in those events with you.
- Photo pages have a cleaner look and design that lets you view all your photos one one page, without the need to click “next” to view the next bundle of photographs.
- Pages for websites will get an upgrade too. Check out this Ellen TV page, showing a prominent Bing map.
The old profile design can be seen above. While many Facebook users will fight the changes, as they always do, the new profile appears to be a step forward in communication and design for Facebook. On 60 Minutes, Zuckerberg was his usual stiff, unblinking self, but showed a public confidence that he hasn’t had before. He answered questions about poaching Google staff, privacy, The Social Network, the Winklevoss twins, and the hacking culture at Facebook, among other things. You can watch the entire interview in two parts on CBS.com. A video detailing the new profile pages is below.