Facebook Shows New Life and Value

A few months ago, we started to see a shift in how Facebook could potentially be used in a different way. Newsfeed commenting was heralded as a Friendfeed style approach. Initially buried in the original Facebook design, I sort of shrugged it off as just another me too approach that wouldn’t take.

Boy was I wrong.

In fact, accidentally Facebook became valuable to me again by keeping me engaged and connected to the hundreds of friends I have there.

Facebook used to be a fairly passive social community. By passive I mean, I found value in event RSVPs and occasional messaging. Certainly by all accounts, I was the exception as it seemed to be pretty active for other users as a wall post messaging system and an app platform. I block almost all apps universally as they annoy me, so I didn’t find the value. It was for these reasons that I had temporarily suspended my own account.

However, the other day I made a fairly innocuous status update, something I don’t do all that often and was surprised by the comments that that status update got. It was the first time for that for me. I was a Facebook Status Update Comment Virgin! And it was exciting! In fact, it made me want to do it again!

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End of the day, Facebook was getting boring for many users including myself. It was passive. It was blah. It certainly was a way to keep in contact with people, but showed little real value beyond that.

The new design has given some people heartburn, but even that heartburn seems to be dissipating into quiet reluctance at worst and enjoyment by others as people realize that little stuff like feed commenting is now more exposed than ever. Facebook, for me, has once again become useful.

What are your thoughts?

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Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell is a Baltimore, MD-based WordPress developer, a co-founder at WP Engine, WordPress core contributor and author. He wrote the book WordPress Bible and has been publishing on the web since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter, on his personal blog and view his photography at The Aperture Filter.

5 thoughts on “Facebook Shows New Life and Value”

  1. Completely agreed! I've gotten a lot more active on Facebook since the new redesign. Before the “wall” was silo'd off, so I just turned it off. Now, with status update comments, wall posts, and other posts all be integrated and threaded into one place, it keeps me interested. Additionally, the Friend Groups has made it easier to keep tabs on the handful of people I actually want to see everything that they've been up to.I have no complaints about the new design and am for the first time in a while drinking the Facebook Kool-Aid.

  2. I remember when Facebook had the old design with the message on the corner to test out the new Facebook. I gave it a go and really didn't like it! I can't remember exactly why I disliked the new look and feel but as I sit here, maybe it was the change that I was fighting against. People are like that sometimes ya know? We fight against new things. Anyway, you mentioned that the comments are exposed now more than ever on the new facebook and I agree. Now more than ever I'm engaged with more and more members of my network there on Facebook! It's become that much easier to talk and communicate. I'm talking and sharing with people that I otherwise might not have. The new design is still taking some more getting used to, but I'm liking it more and more each day.

  3. I also agree. Facebook was kind of written of by me, but the new design is a positive thing that will increase my activity at Facebook. I hope that all the protests will stop now!

  4. I actually think that Facebook will be the first into web3D, a new concept that will involve the 'spinning' of the website to give it a look of it being a 3D object, increasing the ease of use of it.

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