Facebook Sneak Preview

This week I joined my first new group on Facebook in quite awhile. For the most part, I haven’t been much of an active participant on the site, only checking in from time to time to see what’s happening, and check messages/wall posts. But when I caught wind of the Facebook Sneak Preview group in the official Facebook blog, I decided it was worth checking out.

What they’ve done is create a forum for user feedback on new features their developers are working on. It is obviously done partially due to the unexpectedly negative response to the introduction of the News Feed last fall (read my account of the saga here), and should be applauded for its efforts.

But what are they thinking about rolling out these days?

According to the Facebook blog, these are the three biggest things:
  • A simplified design. For those of the Facebook old guard, you've watched the number of features on the site grow. The new design will bring the focus back to the core elements, so the links you use the most often are easiest to find, while the others have new sensible homes. This will also help beginners understand how to get started. The Profile page will be a little sleeker, with your status rearranged, quick links under the profile picture and a mini-er Mini-Feed.

  • A unified inbox. All of your messages and shares will be found in one unified inbox, and extra functionality will be added to each. Now, rather than commenting on a share, you reply to it, just like a message. Also you can now message several people at once, and they can reply to everyone on the thread, just like email.

  • Network pages. Every network will have a single page where you can see all the sweet stuff happening in each of your networks. You'll be able to browse the profiles of network members, check out interesting facts about the breakdown of people around you, and see popular activity like which videos are getting shared and which groups are growing. There will also be a new events calendar to find out what's going on in your network.
I like it. And here are some prototype screenshots, in case you can’t/don’t feel like joining the group.

I still like it better than MySpace, in case you were wondering.