New Facebook Profiles December 8, 2010

Written by: Larry Weintraub
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Just days after the official rollout of the overhauled Facebook Messaging platform, another new and dramatic change has been released on the Facebook website; an updated social profile.

Unlike the updated Facebook Messaging service which is only available to those who receive an invite, the updated Facebook profile is available right now to anyone who wants it. To do so, simply follow this link and click the green button at the top to activate it.

In a recent Facebook blog update, the changes to the Facebook Profile page were described in great detail. To save you some time, here is the gist of what they said:

What’s new?
In a nutshell, the updated Facebook profiles are getting a completely new look along with a few new features that will not only make them more functional and easier to read, but also easier to update. This major overhaul can be broken down into three main parts.

1. Profile Summary
A brief synopsis of each person will now appear at the top of their new profile page and will include things such as where you work, who you’re in a relationship with, where you go to school, what you’re studying, and if you can speak any other languages. The brief summary explains who you are, and below that is a collection of photos you are recently tagged in that shows what you’ve been up to lately. These are all things that Facebook considers “conversation starters” and aims to provide you with a little background about the person you’re looking at.

2. Featured Friends
This is one of the more interesting updates to the Facebook profile. It allows you to feature friends on the newly created sidebar that displays your friends list. To date, the only time you could really single a relationship out was when you accepted a relationship request with a significant other. Now, Facebook gives you the opportunity to split up your friends list into different categories, such as colleagues at work, peers at school, family members, or just the friends you are closer with.

3. Interface Changes
Several of the interface changes will probably seem strange and hard to navigate at first, due largely to the fact that a lot of info has either moved positions or been removed all together. The tabs that were once at the top have changed to links on the left, and your friends are now separated by groups on in the left hand side of your profile. As more and more people opt in for the new profile change, you should get used to this positioning and it shouldn’t be a problem.

One of the more useful updates to the overhauled interface, however, would be the addition of infinite scroll. Instead of having to click a link at the bottom of the profile to “see more”, as users keep scrolling down the page keeps loading more content.

In the end, the overall point of the profile overhaul was to enable users to update more often and to do so easier. It looks like they’ve done just that.

For more information about the changes made to the Facebook profiles and a brief blurb about how it can help assist advertisers, check out Charlene Li’s write up here. If you are interested in a photo walkthrough of the new changes as well as a short promotional video, check out this Mashable post.