Old Facebook no longer an option

POSTED AT 11:30 PM ON Sep. 14, 2008 


With a few weeks under their belts, freshmen have become comfortable with the location of their classes and have gotten a good feel for how much homework their professors will give. But as they log onto cyberspace, many IU students will find one more thing they will have to get used to – the new Facebook.

Facebook, a popular social networking Web site, started to switch over to its new format this weekend. The new format has been optional for the last few months, but is now starting to become a permanent change for all users.

The new format does not add or take away any functions but is organized and navigated differently.

Mark Slee, product manager for the new Facebook, is excited about the change and thinks the new format will benefit the Facebook community.

“We set out to make Facebook simpler, cleaner, more relevant and easier to control,” he said in a recent post on his blog, known as The Facebook Blog. “We believe we’ve gotten to the best Facebook yet.”

Slee was contacted for further comment via e-mail but did not respond by press time.
With Facebook’s growing popularity, numerous users have let their opinions on the new format be known. Facebook is riddled with groups speaking out both in support and in complaint of the new Facebook.

The vast majority of groups are made up of users who have a problem with the new format. Amongst these groups are “1,000,000 AGAINST THE NEW FACEBOOK LAYOUT!” which includes more than 1.6 million members and “Petition Against the New Facebook,” which features more than 1.2 million members.

“I absolutely despise it,” said sophomore Shawn Walter. “I don’t like change. I’m set in my ways on Facebook.”

He said his familiarity with the old Facebook layout was his favorite part of it.

“I knew where everything was without having to relearn it,” he said.

Still, a few others believe the new Facebook is a good change of pace.

Groups such as “I Kind of Like the New Facebook!,” which features more than 3,000 users, offer a counter argument against the criticisms of the new Facebook.

Senior Kemmie Mitzell said she doesn’t like having to get acquainted with the new Facebook, but she does enjoy some of the new features it offers.

“It can be an inconvenience to suddenly log on and see that everything has been rearranged,” she said. “But at the same time I use it so much and I depend on it so much for keeping up with friends and family members that I end up just teaching myself to use it all over again.”

Though the new layout is different, Mitzell feels its more convenient to navigate.

“One thing I like about the new format is that they compacted the profile of a person into three and four different tabs so that you aren’t overwhelmed with so much information in one window,” she said. “If you’re looking for something specific, you can easily get there.”

Mitzell said she can’t think of anything specific she doesn’t like about the layout.

“It’s more just the fact that it is constantly getting changed and they don’t stick with the single format,” she said.

The change has led a few students to look for new social networks, but the vast majority of users said they will deal with the new Facebook.

“I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but I don’t want to relearn it all,” Walter said.

Slee said in his blog he realizes the new format will take some getting used to for Facebook users.

“The new design is different, and we understand that some people will be uncomfortable with the changes,” Slee wrote in his blog. “But over time we think people will appreciate the advantages of the new design and the new features it offers.”


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