Facebook facelift gets mixed reviews
Facebook, the social network that's not just for college students any more, launched several new features this morning that have drawn both raves and rants from users.
New to each member's home page is a streaming "news feed" that alerts them to changes in their friends' profiles. These changes may be strictly practical, like a changed cellphone number or mailing address, or more distinctive like the notification of a couple's engagement -- or simply a new "testimonial" on a friend's Facebook "wall."
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been making the media rounds of late, explaining that Facebook's goal is to "help people understand their world," and that this new emphasis on pushing updates to members represents a breakthrough in social networking.
But the early response is sharply divided. TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, rarely a pessimist, praises the update. According to Arrington, Facebook redesigned the site with an understanding that "page views aren't the currency that matters but rather how effectively the service allows users to communicate. Facebook users will now have a much easier way of staying up to date on what their friends are up to." (Facebook competitor MySpace has been criticized in the past for poor website design that forces users to click through several pages to accomplish simple tasks like logging in and reading messages.)
Others think the new Facebook is an invitation to privacy invasion. Blogger Rishi Kaitan renames the site "Stalkerbook," arguing that the new features turn "social networking into social stalking and that’s just creepy. I think Facebook really needs to re-evaluate how the system works."
Then there were those who simply dispute the novelty of the new Facebook features. One clearly annoyed TechCrunch reader pointed out that "Friend Updates" have been available on Friendster since September and more recently on LinkedIn: "Hmmm, not a whole lot of innovation here, surprised it took Facebook this long to catch up, not exactly moving at lightning speed are you, Zuckerberg?"
Ahh, trash talking in the social network space. The Browser's prediction: This social networking war is a long way from over, but keep a close eye on Zuckerberg and crew. The "I'm CEO... Bitch" Kid may wax a bit self-confident, but his sense of Facebook as a personal utility rather than a media outlet puts him on a very different trajectory than the MySpace boys, currently in first place. (Zuckerberg likes to point out that two thirds of Facebook members come back at least once a day -- an email-like behavior.) And Zuckerberg's investors, ex-PayPal CEO Peter Thiel and Jim Breyer of Accel Partners among them, are every bit as impressive as the daunting Mr. Murdoch.
i agree! Facebook has gone crazy with that blog crap!
agree wholeheartedly with jessica!
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