Why Does Facebook Keep Changing?
The reason Facebook Changes
A lot of people ask the obvious question as to why Facebook is consistently changing. And the simplest answer to that would be that complacency is equal to failure. By this what we mean is that of all the social network websites on the net, Facebook has done exceedingly well to stay on top and above everyone else. Changes in technology force Facebook to update in order to stay in with the times. The other main social networks such as Twitter and Bebo are always changing too, hence why Facebook must follow suit and not get left behind.
History of Facebook Changes
Facebook has changed it’s appearance a number of times over the years, with small changes unnoticed, however occasionally Facebook do a major UI change which usually causes an uproar amoungst regular facebookers who threaten to leave or even try to start a petition. This is amusing to say the least since Facebook is a free service and you are not obliged to use it.
Significant changes of the Facebook layout over the years can be seen below:
When Facebook first launched it was known as “The Facebook” and was only accessible for selected networks such as University and College campus’. In 2005 there was no News Feed and users would navigate through profiles similar to the one below.
Below: Facebook Profile Design in 2005
In September 2006, Facebook introduced an element called “News Feed” and implemented a mini version of the feed into every users profile page which would display the users activity for anyone browsing it to see.
Below: Facebook Profile Design in 2006
One of the first major redesigns took place in 2007 and while it was not a massive appearance change, the functionality allowed users to be able to interact with each other directly on their profiles. This was the true start of the social element for the Facebook network.
Below: Facebook Profile Design in 2007
Taking on board the success and functionality of MySpace, Facebook developed application tabs which could be added to users individual profiles to make them more customizable, (e.g. Podcast Player, Scrolling RSS, Bumper Stickers etc). At this time the Publisher tool bar was also introduced, which allowed a user to post a status update, photo or link to his or her profile.
Below: Facebook Profile Design in 2008
Once we reached 2009, Facebook became the true giant that we know today. The user profile was redesigned and a new type of profile was introduced. This was called Facebook Pages. The new profile allowed users to “become a fan” of a Page, and this was promptly taken onboard by celebrities and businesses alike. In 2010, Facebook decided to change their terminology and changed “become a fan” into “like” so that the page admin could see that individual’s or business’ updates in their news feed.
Below: Facebook Profile Design in 2009
Late in 2010, another profile change was launched but was a very subtle change. The most noticable change was the addition of 5 “preview” images that appeared at the top of the profile. Not forgetting, Facebook now made the social experience even more “in your face” as they now told you what friends/fans you had in common in the upper right-hand corner of each page.
Below: Facebook Profile Design in 2010
September 20th 2011 saw the introduction of Facebook’s new ticker which. A “View As” widget in the upper right-hand corner that allows a user to preview how others see her page was introduced at this time. Users with a lower screen resolution would not have noticed this change since it was only visible for high resolution desktops.
Below: Facebook Profile Design in 2011
And now, Facebook Changes again… The Timeline
It has been released at the F8 Developers conference that Facebook will be making a major redesign to their layout which will be known as “Timeline”. The new profile will act like a virtual scrapbook, featuring important milestones that have occurred since your time on Facebook. Compared to the evolution of the social network’s profile thus far, this redesign appears the most significant.
See About Timeline on facebook to find out more about this latest redesign.