6 Major Changes to Facebook's Profile Pages

The design overhaul brings photos and personal stats to the forefront

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In a major design overhaul, Facebook has introduced new profile pages that give greater emphasis to photos and users' basic information (e.g. education, hometown, employer). Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg coordinated the unveiling of the new profiles with a primetime interview with 60 Minutes last night. Currently the new profiles are opt-in (anyone can adopt the new redesign by visiting this page and clicking the green button at the top right). In the coming weeks, the new profiles will be implemented for all users across the globe. Here are the big changes tech bloggers are focusing on:
  • Photos  "On these new profiles, it's photos that take center stage," writes Sarah Perez at Read Write Web. "Now, the recently tagged photos of you and photos of your closest friends (as chosen by you) are highlighted, the latter in a section called 'Featured Friends.'
  • Personal Information  "Above the photos is what Facebook is calling 'conversation starters,' or a series of brief factoids about your life," writes Jeffrey Van Camp at Yahoo! News. "For example, under Mark Zuckerberg’s name it says: '* Has worked at Facebook since 2004  * Lives in Palo Alto, California  * Studied Computer Science at Harvard University  * From Dobbs Ferry, New York  * Born on May 14, 1984.' None of this information is new, so there are no new privacy concerns, but the redesign puts your life front and center."

  • Professional Stats  The new profile allows you to list business and academic projects you are working on, notes Larry Dignan at ZDNet. "In other words, Facebook will at least allow you the option to use it more as an online resume," he writes. "Funny that's exactly how LinkedIn is used. If you can list your jobs, key projects and work connections on Facebook does that minimize the importance of LinkedIn? There's no ready answer to that query, but you have to wonder."

  • Personal Outlook  "Now there's a field on your page called 'philosophy,' which folds in your religious, political views and favorite quote. Plus a brand new field: 'People Who Inspire You,'" writes Adrian Chen at Gawker.

  • Featured Friends  "You can now highlight the friends who are important to you, such as your family, best friends or teammates," writes Josh Wiseman at The Facebook Blog. "Create new groups of friends, or feature existing friends lists. I opted to feature my Ultimate Frisbee teammates, giving the rest of my friends a way to learn more about that part of my life.

  • Smaller Tweaks  "Messages and Pokes are now more prominently featured toward the top of the page," writes Jason Kincaid at TechCrunch. "And there's a link to your 'friendship page' featured on the right side of the screen as well (this feature was recently released, and was harder to find)."

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