Facebook has been changing rapidly since the launch of Google+, so it’s no surprise that a profile redesign is said to be coming out of the f8 developer conference this week. Mashable credits anonymous sources with the news that this redesign is a “major” one, focused on keeping users on the page longer consuming content.
While there are rumors of a Facebook app store, Project Spartan’s pending launch, and a social commerce focus, Facebook remains tight-lipped. F8 conference participants will get the first peek at what, exactly, this latest rollout will look like; the new profile is said to be just one component of the launch, alongside a music and media platform.
Facebook seems to have made agreements with a number of companies to bring content users are watching or listening to around the web into their Facebook profile in real-time, sharing the media with others. Spotify, Rhapsody, Vevo, and Rdio are said to be among Facebook’s new media partners.
Upcoming & Recent Facebook Changes
The BBC reports that personal Facebook accounts will soon be able connect directly with Twitter, a functionality that has been available only through Facebook Pages or third-party apps. This new feature comes hot on the heels of Facebook’s recent launch of Subscriptions, which brought Facebook sharing closer to the way people connect on Twitter than ever. That change followed Facebook’s new post privacy settings, which mimics Google+ Circles and allows users to classify each post from the status update box in order to control sharing.
Other recent Facebook changes:
- The View Shares button, allowing users to see how their content is distributed.
- Updated lists and Smart Lists, which can autogenerate lists based on location or how people know each other.
- Custom URLs for new Pages. Previously, 25 fans were needed before a Page could set their custom URL. Not anymore.
- The Poke button has gone into hiding in a dropdown menu at the top right of the user profile – the same menu that allows you to report or block a user.
- Page users will no longer be able to send messages to fans as of September 30.
One other notable change that should be popular among users is a locked navigation bar. Facebook has been testing this out all week, with different users reporting seeing the bar locked at the top of the screen while scrolling at different times. I had a locked navigation bar on the news feed page two days ago, but it’s now scrolling with the page again. While in messages, the navigation bar is locked.
What else might come out of Facebook’s f8 conference? Let us know in the comments if you have an idea of what else might be up their sleeves, or if you’ve seen other testing or changes happening on Facebook.
Update: Shortly after this article was posted, Facebook announced the launch of changes to the Newsfeed, likening the top of the feed to the front page of a local newspaper. By sorting the feed for users, depending on how often they visit and how long it’s been since their last sign-in, Facebook hopes to offer more of what users are looking for at the top of the feed.
Frequent visitors now see Recent News at the top, with a blue tag in the top left corner of each new story to indicate that it hasn’t been read, and larger photos throughout the stream. Those who haven’t signed in recently will see Top Stories listed first. Facebook also added a real-time news ticker at the top of the right sidebar to keep users informed on Friends’ recent activity.
Update 2: See "Facebook F8 Wrapup: Timeline, Ticker, GraphRank for Users & Marketers" for a recap of the changes Facebook unveiled at F8.