Sunday, July 20, 2008

Facebook - Redesigned

They didn’t have to do it, but they did, and the ‘new’ Facebook is just around the corner. There’s a good write-up of the changes here. Once again, the changes focus on usability and user-centred design. Stronger filtering functionality, more customisation, it’s all about sharing and as Mark himself puts it tosimplify the user experience".

Strategically there seems to be a greater emphasis on media sharing, and with “more the 24 million photos uploaded daily” there’s little wonder why it has shifted to the forefront.

The biggest win here for most users is the de-emphasising/de-cluttering of applications, bundling them into a single drop-down menu item. What does it mean for advertisers? Well those in the business of applications will need to work even harder to fight for cut-through and distribution. Already app usage growth remains flat, despite growth off app’s available to now more than a staggering 32k, and it’s worth remembering "top 10% of apps account for 98% of total usage."

For me it’s about Fan pages, if you’re good, people will want to link to you and the Mini-feed becomes your own automated viral edm. Already Flight of the Conchords have chalked up 125k fans which would put it in the same realms as the Top 100 applications of ‘active users’. Even SEEK has managed almost 9k fans, with some solid content, integrated applications, regular updates and competitions. Sure, for some brands it’s going to take a bit of work to get creative, but those who succeed open up a powerful channel to engage, interact and reward consumers.