A change of face: Facebook’s Zuckerberg talks about redesigned profile pages

Monday, December 6th, 2010

By MATT SCHULER, Digital Architect, Marx Layne

Maybe you’ve seen an update in your Facebook News Feed that says some of your friends have the new profile. Before I’d read the updates on TechMeme or watched Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview with founder Mark Zuckerberg (which you can watch below), I saw my friends getting the new profile.

I found it to be an ingenious way to introduce people to the new profiles. Instead of just rolling out the changes en masse and upsetting people along the way, with this update Facebook virally spread the profile upgrades to new users.

You only got the new profile if you wanted it and sought it out. That’s exactly what I and millions of others have already done.

So what is the new profile? Facebook has a in-depth explanation in a blog post that I’ll get to in a moment, but it also has a fairly simple and straight-forward video. Click play on the embedded frame to watch.

From the blog post, your new profile “begins with a quick overview of basic information such as where you’re from, where you went to school, and where you work—the kinds of conversation starters you share with people you’ve just met or exchange with old friends as you get reacquainted.

And since there’s often no better way to learn about a person than through photos, the profile now includes a row of recently tagged photos of you. In my case, my profile features pics from my engagement and wedding, two of my life’s most recent and happiest moments.”

The profile offers users new ways to share their interests and activities. One particular change reminded me and Larry Dignan at ZDnet of LinkedIn. Dignan even questioned if the new Facebook design is a threat to the more professional social network. A big enough chunk of Facebook’s 500 million users will use the social site as a work and recruiting tool,” he writes. I have to say I agree and when you look at the way that it’s implemented, you can see the similarities. Facebook says in the blog post that you “can list the projects you worked on at your job, classes you took in school, your favorite musicians and sports teams, and more”, which to me is a direct assault on LinkedIn.

Overall, I like the changes, and they actually prompted me to enter more information than I’d previously shared (which I’d say is a ‘win’ for Facebook and probably one of the aims of the redesign.) I’d mentioned the 60 Minutes interview with Mark Zuckerberg above. You can watch the interview, in two parts, below. I’ve also embedded the 60 Minutes Overtime clip, where they take a run through the new changes.

60 Minutes Interview Clip 1

60 Minutes Interview Clip 2

60 Minutes Overtime Guided Video Tour