Monday, December 6, 2010

Getting around the new Facebook profile page

Facebook has (yet again) revamped the profile page layout, beginning Sunday. The feature is slowly rolling out. You'll probably get it in a couple of days if not immediately. Josh Wiseman, of Facebook writes about it on the Facebook blog. If you go to the page, there's a link for you to upgrade right away. This should most probably work for everyone.

As I write this article, I haven't looked around the new features too much, and I'll be discovering it with you. Let's begin with the 45-second demo video those guys at Facebook put together.

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I seem to like it. I always like new features and designs. But as usual, there will be people who'll refute and say that this is the worst thing ever. But when the next change comes, they'll start liking the previous one. Anyways, let's get started. I have broken this post down into sections.

First looks
When you upgrade to the new look, you'll see a huge improvement in organization. I mean huge. On top of the profile, just below your name are your personal details. It shows your employment status, your school, your hometown, where you live, favorite sports (we'll talk about this later), the languages you speak (we'll talk about it later too), your birthday (if enabled) and stuff like that.

Just below that are some recent photos you are tagged in. You can optionally remove individual photos from the place of prominence right away. If you look at the new profile, you'll notice that photos are given more importance now. I think you should start cleaning up those tags in the stupid, cartoony photos right away.

There are no more Tabs on top. The links to a person's Wall, Info and other stuff are to the left. Do you remember Facebook talking about the tabs going away very soon very recently? Notifications used to pop-up saying that your Applications will no longer be able to use Tabs. First they took away Boxes, and now even Tabs. This is very sad. I hope they add 'Pages' for Applications sometime soon, and link to them from this left sidebar.

Personal info
There are slight changes in the interests and personal info. There is a new section for your favorite Sports, where you can list the sports you play, your favorite teams and athletes. Your favorite music, movies and books all come under a section Arts and Entertainment. They've categorized the favorite quotes, religious and political views and something new called People Who Inspire You under Philosophy.

Also, if you go look under Basic Information, you'll see a new piece of info you can share: Languages You Speak. Just start typing your languages and Facebook suggests them for you. All this will appear on your profile, as we talked about earlier. 

In the information about your school and college, you can list the classes you took, add a description if you like and you can even list your classmates for the year.

Miscellaneous changes
If you upgrade, you'll notice a few changes in the overall interface on the site. Now, you no longer attach a photo, video or link to your status update. Your News Feed and your Wall will have a strip asking you to post something. Your options are the usual photo, video and link. The button still says Attach, which should be fixed soon. I clicked Link to try it out. When you paste in a link, it says 'Something about this link...' and you can write in something. It should appear as the link-with-your-'comment'-followed-by-your-friends'-comments thing Facebook made a few weeks ago.


Another new thing is the Badge feature. Just go to your Profile and scroll to the end of your list of friends and family on the left, and you'll see a link to Add a Badge to Your Site. You can choose from various kinds of Badges you can add to your website. You can thus show off the photos you want, tell your visitors that you like some Page or just link to your profile. Just copy-paste the code FB gives you.

So that's it for the new Facebook features, which I certainly like. Do you have something to say? Do you love it? Or do you hate it, as usual? Throw it all into the comments. Oh, and you can log in using your Facebook account to comment (or just post as guest!).

For more Facebook fun, click Facebook in the tag cloud in the sidebar, and do look at my blog archive. Don't forget to Like Right Now In Tech on Facebook. If you want, you can also subscribe via RSS or Twitter. Have fun with the new features. Stay tuned.