It seems that Facebook is making its new, redesigned user interface available to a select group of users, changing the way some aspects of the site’s layout and the way apps can interact with users.
Facebook has, for the most part, gotten out of the habit of making changes to its UI without publicising them a little first, since the service is so big that just about everyone now has an account, so news of any changes spreads very quickly indeed. Moreover, when people find that their Facebook is just a little different without their having been notified of it, the response tends to be negative. According to TechCrunch though, the social network has done it again, pushing out its new UI to some users ahead of others.
Still, those changes that Facebook rolls out to a select group of users before they see wider release do generally succeed and go on to become parts of the wider Facebook, accessible to just about everyone. One of the most recent examples has been Facebook Lite, which may not be getting quite as much of the limelight as it did when it first launched, but still seems to see plenty of traffic.
The new changes to Facebook aren’t massive, but they do see Facebook’s app support start to look a little less friendly for developers and a little more friendly for those of us sitting the chair on the user side. While there’s been little word from Facebook officially, it seems that apps are no longer to boast the ability to publish notifications directly, so we can expect to see and hear a significant amount less about Farmville and just how many lost cows there are wandering around our various friends’ pages.
The shift towards a more user-friendly (rather than app-friendly) version of Facebook is one that’s been a long while coming, especially given the number of apps that publish directly into the notification bar, specifically with the intention of picking up more users. While we’d imagine developers aren’t too pleased with the situation, more Facebook users will likely enjoy the change.