How Facebook Pleases Users: Homepage Re-Redesign, Enhanced Security
Article by George Norman
On 25 Mar 2009
Popular social networking site Facebook has not too long ago rolled out a new and improved homepage that was supposed to make it easier for people to stay in touch with their contacts, but instead it spurred a lot of user complaints. It was rumored at the time that nothing will be done about it and that users will just have to learn to love the new homepage – it seems those rumors were wrong as Facebook has responded to all the feedback and will make some additional changes to the homepage.

Director of Product Development with Facebook, Christopher Cox comments: “Whenever we build something new or tweak something old, our motivation is the same: to help you share with the people you care about and find out what's happening with them. Before we launch any new product, it first must pass a process of design, development and testing with a more limited user audience. If those results are satisfactory, we then release it for all of you to use. We know that no amount of testing is as valuable as what you have to say. For this reason, we will always look to you, our users, to tell us what is working and what isn't so we can continually make improvements.”


Here are the changes that Facebook will rollout in the near future:
- Auto updating feature that does away with you having to refresh the page to browse new content.
- Tools to control and reduce the amount of application content shared by your friends
- Photos tagged by one of your friends will be added to your stream.
- The “Highlights” section, which can be located in the right-hand column, will show more content and will be updated frequently. It will be reminiscent of the old News Feed.
- Requests and invites coming from one of your friends will be displayed to the top of the right-hand column so as to make them more visible.
- Filter your streams by creating new friends lists.

“With the recent home page changes, we're trying to present the right balance between what's happening right now and what's interesting over a longer period of time, said Christopher Cox. “We realize that both are important and getting them both right is crucial for the product to work. In the last few weeks, you've seen us shift the main emphasis towards real-time conversations and updates as the entry point to Facebook. We're working hard to make this stream more valuable, and also to build out the richness and relevance of the Highlights section.”

Moving on to security, Facebook has one again emphasized that it employs the strongest measure in order to ensure that all users remain safe – and by safe I mean Facebook is capable pf protecting you from fake and/or malicious accounts. Kevin Mitnick is living proof that security is not lax at Facebook – the once social networking hacker had a tough time convincing Facebook that he is really Kevin Mitnick, when in the past impersonating other people used to be his specialty – details here.

Chief Privacy officer at Facebook, Chris Kelly explains: “Obviously, we've become a very large target for people trying to hack the site, trying to spam people on the site. In those rare occasions where these attempts get through, we learn very quickly. Our innovative privacy controls include behind-the-scenes scanning for fake accounts. We take down thousands of accounts a week, and on the rare occasions where they get through, we can build protection into our system.”

Tags: Facebook
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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