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Preparing for the New Facebook Profile Design

May 7, 2008BySasha Rush

We’re closing in on the launch of the new profile design. We want to make sure that we give you enough time to get your applications ready and take advantage of the new features that will be available with the new design.

Several weeks ago, we posted a first glimpse at the improved profile and asked for your feedback. And we’ve been getting feedback from our users as well at the Facebook Profile Preview Page. As you can imagine, we’ve received a lot of great comments and suggestions from both our users and our developers, which we’ve taken into consideration, and incorporated some of that feedback into the final design.

Now we’re ready to start giving you as many details on the new features as we can so you can prepare to fully integrate your applications into the new design. Along with the new profiles, we are also launching improvements to Feed and Wall, as well as making some changes to streamline the application installation flow.

If you take no action, most features of your application will continue to work, though please be aware of the changes. For example, if a user has a profile box from your application on their profile today, it will still be on her profile after the launch, though in a new location. However, we encourage you to implement as many of these changes as are appropriate for your applications so you can provide your users with a richer experience.

Integrating with the New Profile Design

To take full advantage of the new features with the new profile, start by reading the Integration Guide to the New Facebook Profile.

Here are some of the most important changes and new features. Please remember that exact details may still change in the coming weeks, but we want to get you as much info as we can now to help you prepare.

New Feed Stories and Templates: With the new design, the Feed tab is front-and-center on users’ profiles. Showing and sharing interesting and relevant Feed stories is going to continue to be a primary way users express themselves. Users will continue to control what appears and doesn’t appear in their Feed. To make Feed stories even better, we’re enabling three sizes of stories – one line, short, and full. Applications can offer stories in any of these sizes (users will approve short and full stories as they are published). Short stories will use templates, and full stories will use FBML.

Publisher: On the new Feed and Wall tabs, adding content to your own Feed or to a friend’s Feed or Wall will be a main focus of the experience. The Publisher allows users to add content such as text or photos, or rich content from any application such as music, videos, images, links, and more. The Publisher is a major upgrade to Wall attachments, and we think it will be integral to how users use Facebook.

Application Tabs: Users will start with 5 tabs on their profiles by default (Feed, Wall, Info, Photos, "Boxes") and can add tabs from their favorite applications to better represent themselves. Users can add as many application tabs as they want –- up to 6 tabs can appear (space-permitting) and additional tabs will be included in a More dropdown. An application tab is similar to a canvas page, and should directly represent the user. We encourage you to have your applications offer rich ways for users to express themselves so they'll put your application on its own tab.

Profile Boxes: Existing wide and narrow profile boxes will now appear on a new Boxes tab that every user can enable/disable on their profile. In addition, we’re supporting a new profile box type that can appear on the left-hand side of the user’s profile across the Feed, Wall, and Info tabs. These new boxes use standard templates and are up to 250 pixels in height.

Application Info Sections: The new Info tab will allow users to express themselves in a more structured way than before. This includes standard Facebook profile data such as contact information, user interests, and school/work histories. Additionally, users can add structured information with application info sections. An application info section is a list of text and/or images provided by an application.

What’s Next

We hope you get into the details and start planning out the changes and updates you want to make to your applications.

Over the next two weeks, we are going to update you with more details on issues like the new application installation flow and other Platform Changes, as well as additions to Platform Policy.

Later this month, we are going to open up a beta site for you to build and test out changes to your applications before we make these changes live for our collective users.

Keep reading this blog. Please send us your feedback and questions to Put [new profile] in the subject line.