Facebook selectively testing redesigned Timeline and Groups pages

facebook testing new designRemember the pre-Timeline Facebook? Chances are you do, and given the reaction to the Timeline launch, chances are you preferred it. Well you’ll be happy to hear that Facebook has been testing out a few design changes to the Profile and Groups pages that is reminiscent of those simpler times. Check out at the potential new (old) looks. 

Facebook Timeline

facebook timeline redesign test

Content self-published to your Facebook profile page would be located on one left column, according to Inside Facebook. The redesign is being tested to just a select number of users, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed with Digital Trends.

The test design definitely revisits the old layout that Facebook scrapped when it introduced the Timeline. And it makes sense: This way our eyes are only moving down to read previous posts. Normally posts are published both on the left and right side of the vertical blue line. We’re probably not alone in suggesting that it gives us a headache to look left and right while scrolling down a friend’s Timeline to browse posts. The posts will also be wider than the Open Graph modules that sit on the right column.

There has been evidence that Facebook favored displaying posts vertically based on minor updates that the social network has made to our profile pages. You now might be more conscious of the fact that “Activity,” “Friends,” “Photos,” “Likes,” “Places,” and other types of Open Graph modules have been pushed off to the right column of the profile page and may extend as far as a third of the way down on your Timeline. For instance, with this current format, the first seven posts on my Timeline read from top to bottom anyway, without any of that left-to-right back-and-forth business. 

Screen shots from the test also indicate that the vertical blue line has been scrubbed as a feature altogether, and may indicate a lack of users publishing new posts using it. Without the redesign, users can add a new status, photo, place, or life event anywhere on their Timeline by selecting a place on the line. Facebook declined to comment on our suspicions.

Facebook Groups

facebook group redesign

We also recognized that Facebook is testing a completely redesigned Facebook Groups page with select users, which the social network also confirmed. Luckily we were in that batch and got a firsthand look at the potential new Facebook Groups.

The groups pages redesign has completely removed the left column where you’d find lists of your Facebook Pages, Message icon, Groups, Apps, and other categories. It’s a minimalistic design, reminiscent of the Timeline, that aesthetically places a lot of emphasis on collaborating in your group by removing any distracting features. The only way to browse to a different page is through the navigation bar at the top of your profile. If you can recall, Facebook added an engagement boosting feature “Seen by,” which displays the names of the group members that have seen the posts published to the group page.

The right column houses the page’s description, and replaces the profile images of members with just the number of group members. Below that you’ll find a list of ads. But all the major features including writing a post, adding a photo or video, asking a question, and adding a file from your computer or Dropbox remain.