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A Look at the Changing Layouts of Facebook

Evolution of Facebooks Layout

A man once said, “If you’re not changing, you’re dying.”

Winston Churchill followed this up by saying, “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.” And there’s one thing that’s certain whenever Facebook changes their layout, everyone thought it was in the wrong direction. Yet time passes, the uproar ceases, and people continue to be addicted drawn to their favorite social network.

Facebook’s most recent layout switch brought these changes:

  • Hiding away the annoying Farmville application within a separate news feed
  • Scratching the twig on the footer of the site
  • Making search a more prominent component of the site overall

Facebook’s layout now contains three major components: the news feed, search, and more engaging advertisements. Over the next couple of years, the movement will center more on search; that is, Facebook’s Open Social Graph that enables social plugins further cemented this idea. Facebook will move towards money, not towards functionality.

In order to highlight Facebook’s change, and their initial movement towards functionality, and then swiftly away from functionality, we’ll outline Facebook’s layout through the pictures below:

Facebook 1.0 – Year 2005

Facebook Layout in 2005Ah, the good ole days.  Facebook’s beautiful original layout was first seen in 2005. It was crisp, blue, simple and innocent. It carried with it was a sense of intimacy.

It was exclusive – for college students only. Many first discovered Facebook through an email blast at their school. Whoever pitched Facebook to every single school did a great job. They made it feel exclusive, safe and in the best interest of colleges. When, in reality, it was just the first step in Facebook’s plan to dominate the web. What target was easier than penetrating the clueless market of accademia where the decision-maker hardly knew what the internet was.

Facebook 2.0 – Year 2005 (“The Facebook”)

Facebook Layout "The Facebook" in 2005This layout was called “The Facebook” layout because of its title, “The Facebook.” Facebook didn’t yet own the domain for “Facebook,” and thus stuck with the term “TheFacebook.com” for a while. This was a very fun phase and life-form in Facebook’s history. The colleges were sending out invites, Facebook the company was growing rapidly, and Mark Zuckerberg was settling into his fresh, new home in Palo Alto.

In this phase, Facebook still centered on writing messages to others and communicating with friends. Applications were not yet rampant, and thus the experience was peaceful, fun and becoming more and more useful.

Facebook 3.0 – Year 2006

Facebook Layout Change 20062006 marked a year of growth, organization and discovery of Facebook’s layout. The developers at Facebook began to brainstorm how they could add to the Facebook experience. They layout was changed around, the profile information was better organized, and the events section, which was known as “parties,” began to expand and grow. Facebook was gaining its foothold and establishing its base as a premier social network.

Facebook 4.0 – Year 2007

Facebooks Layout from 2007The year 2007 marked Facebook’s first real expansion into becoming a platform; not just a place to communicate, but a platform to interact. This was the era when your wall became a central component for your social life. Your profile contained some apps, pokes, pictures and social components that made it fun to spend ridiculous amounts of time on the website.

Facebook 5.0 – Year 2008

Facebooks Layouts in 20082008 marked the dawn of the activity feed. The wall became not just a profile-specific point of sharing (i.e. learning news from one’s profile), but a universal point of sharing within Facebook’s network. Friends comment on one another’s photos, poked one another, started to write updates on their own wall, and began to interact with their friends in entirely new ways–ways that other social networks could never dream of. Facebook pulled the right levers in making Facebook a more addicting experience and rolled out plans for social network domination.

Facebook 6.0 – Year 2009

Facebooks Skin in 20092009 was the biggest shake-up and uproar ever experienced within the realm of Facebook’s layout change. In this change, the Facebook Platform was at its zenith. Developers were flocking to develop addicting games in order to be the next Farmville or Mafia Wars.

The news feed became prominent, and at first, hated. After glancing at Twitter’s knack for sharing little details about one’s life, Facebook decided to do the same. The news feed provided a way for people to share details about themselves without having to point that piece of comment at a specific friend (that is, writing on the friends wall). The inception of the like button, the share button, fan pages and more interactive ads makes the 2009 version of Facebook its most compelling, innovative and feature-iffic redesign to date.

Facebook 6.1 – Facebook Lite

Picture of Facebook Lite

In this year, Facebook also unveiled a provocative, experimental and interesting layout of its Facebook platform called, “Facebook Lite.” Facebook Lite’s layout revolved around simplicity, speed and ease of use.

Facebook initially released this for the countries that do not have the profound technical infrastructure to support Facebook’s recent robust layout that they currently wield. In order to appease this, Facebook Lite became the preferred, vast and fantastically innovative solution.

Today, Facebook Lite does not exist in the U.S. It was a fun experiment, but served as a short-term plug for the countries that were catching up from a technical stand-point.

Facebook 7.0 – Year 2010

Facebooks Background Layout 2010

The year 2010 marks the most functional and professional Facebook layout to date. The focus now centers on using Facebook as a messenger service, a search service, chat service, events service and news-feed interactivity service. Facebook slowly has moved into the realm of making one’s data more transparent and public, which has caused an uproar; yet, they’ve given users the tools to allow them to select or deselect what and with whom they would like to share their data.

Facebook 8.0 – The Future

Facebooks Layout 2010 with Backgrounds Oh no! I know what you’re thinking. Facebook is awesome because it’s not busy, and has a crazy layout like Myspace. Why the argument is certainly valid, Facebook cannot deny the thirst for customizations, options, interactivity and enjoyment that young teens and others get out of changing their Facebook layout. The future of Facebook’s Layout centers on customization, search and interactivity; in order for you to change your Facebook layout, you can download the layout software below.

Get the Free Facebook Layout Download Here

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Get the Free Facebook Layout Download Here

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