Well, it took several days, but I finally got the new Facebook homepage. With this redesign, Facebook realized the battle is for conversation. Conversation makes a site more of a destination for people, and the new redesign is completely targeted towards this. As much as sites like Twitter and FriendFeed have been battling for the conversation destination title, I warned that Facebook could just decide that they need to own something.
Facebook has just won the conversation battle. Why? The reasons are fairly simple. First, they have almost 200 million users staring at the “What’s on your mind?” prompt. All of the other social sites combined do not have anywhere near this number of unique users. You will probably not hear this from many bloggers, because they tend to be early adopters. Those people, myself included, will stick with Twitter. This is about the mainstream. Facebook is most definitely a mainstream site. One killer feature they have that Twitter does not is lists. I quickly created lists for groups of my Facebook friends and was able to view their updates without the noise of the “news feed”. There are even predefined filters for photos, links and videos. Search capabilities are a glaring omission, but that is not as important to the mainstream user. That is only important for people building third party applications.
The other big reason that Facebook may be crowned king is that all of the social sites in the conversation battle have either written a Facebook application or have their feed being pulled in as status updates. It is fairly simple to import your Google Reader shared items, your Twitter status updates, your FriendFeed and SocialMedian activity. The lure of a potential audience of 200 million users is too great to not create some hook into Facebook.
Another interesting thing about the new homepage is that the design does not suck. It is fairly intuitive to use. The lists and filters on the left are expandable and sortable. Just a simple drag of a list name can change the order of your friend lists.
Does this mean that the other sites will die or never be heard from again? No, they will continue to gain acceptance for various reasons. People like myself will continue to use FriendFeed because there is a lot of information and good discussion occurring. Early adopters will continue to use Twitter because that is where they made contact with other early adopters. Things will continue as they have been, but the battle for the mainstream conversations is over.