User complaints prompt Facebook changes

Chicago (IL) – Facebook recently underwent a major website and user interface redesign (its second within a year) and changed the layout and feature access significantly. The changes were dramatic enough to cause users to rise up with fury and frustration and a strong desire to bring the “Old Facebook” back. Finally achieving a victory of sorts, Facebook has announced that some of was changed will be reverted.

Facebook plans to redesign the homepage to “pacify the masses” following over 1.73 million users who joined a Facebook group called “Petition against the New Facebook“, and a site poll which determined 94% of respondents disliked the new site.

“Since Facebook started in 2004, we’ve been through several redesigns,” Christopher Cox, director of product for Facebook, wrote in a company blog post. “Each was built with the intention of making it easier to share and understand what’s going on with the people you care about.”

Cox added: “Redesigns are generally hard to manage, in part because change is always hard and in part because we may miss improvements that any individual user may like to see.”

Social networking sites are steadily gaining popularity. With sites like Twitter as competition, Facebook will more than likely face many challenges in the future as they try to develop the site and corporate business model. Users have complained about their personal data, and privacy concerns an issues.

Today Facebook announced to its 175 million registered users that it would adjust the homepage in response to user complaints.

It seems that Facebook is getting used to adjusting their policies and website design due to user uproar. In February the company changed its Terms of Service giving the site rights to any uploaded user content. The user response caused the website to open their Principles and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to user review, allowing users to vote and comment on changes.

The most recent redesign altered the user homepage and included a real-time stream similar to Twitter. Users were able to update their friends instantaneously, and this was what caused most of the user complaints.

The changes being made to the site will allow live updates, more choices for applications and photo tags. Users will have more control over the elements which are displayed on their homepage. The Highlights section will also be updated more frequently, search and filtering functions will be simple to utilize, and users will be able to easily see their friend requests and event invites with ease.

Allowing such great interaction among users (and the site itself) is what many predict the future of social networking will be. When users and developers are able to work closely in the design and concepts behind websites, companies will be able to deliver products which are dead on for their market.