Facebook: Change for changing sake?


Last week Facebook unveiled a brand new design for its news feed, an integral part of its site introduced in 2006.

The news feed, which creators say is less cluttered, comes with a host of new features. Bigger images are seen across the feed, information is more spaced out, and multiple feeds are able to be viewed at one time. The same look is also streamlined across all platforms for the first time.

As is the usual case with change, it seemed unwanted by many. I personally felt the same; it always seems that just as you feel comfortable with a certain layout or style, the big social media groups introduce what seem like vast and unnecessary changes. This is apparent for Facebook as well as Twitter.  

Facebook claims to have extensively researched before designing this new look and says it used input from its estimated 175 million everyday users. But did it also use design features from its rivals?

I’ve seen multiple users of the new look news feed mention that it looks coincidentally similar to the design of Google+ , launched by the search engine giant in 2011. The minimal colour palette and clutter-free design certainly seems similar and it would be no surprise if certain elements were seized upon by its rival, just as Facebook’s ‘share’ feature relates similarly to Twitter’s ‘retweet’ tool.

Here are some comments from Twitter which I have collected in a Storify blog. You can see I pursued one comment specifically to find out why @JAGDrummer felt that Facebook had used features from Google+.

Despite the changes it’s clear that Facebook will continue on its dominance in the social media sector. But of course it won’t be that long before we see another load of changes coming in, and we’ll all be complaining again!


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