I started writing this entry before Facebook switched to its new look. At the time there were a lot of people praising Twitter and predicting that it would soon replace Facebook as the network of choice for connecting the Internet’s middle class together; that coveted position on the totem pole between the MySpace Ghetto and LinkedIn (the professional’s pick).

[caption id=”attachment_210” align=”alignleft” width=”261” caption=”Facebook’s New Look”]Facebook's New Look[/caption]

Why Facebook Rocked

I’ve been a Facebook user for about three years so I’ve now lived through two major design changes. The first changed the layout from a bumbling mishmash of functionality into a surgical-sterile work-flow that made the side understandable and useful (to me). Facebook’s strength was the separation between users - everyone had their own “space” but fit together uniformly and professionally. It was a nice, grown-up place to be online.

What Happened?

Now Facebook looks rather generic. The focus is fully on users’ tweets status updates and I can’t tell where my profile ends and my friends’ begin. The layout still looks soothing and professional, but the service isn’t as useful to me anymore. The “Facebook” distinction is gone - I’d rather mashup my own Flickr and Twitter feeds instead of have Facebook duplicate the same functionality and sell my data to every bidder.

Will Twitter Conquer?

If you told me two months ago that Twitter would overtake Facebook, I would have laughed at you. Now Facebook has lowered its ambitions to the one-trick pony of social media / friend feed updates.

The two services weren’t in the same leauge before - Facebook was a massive profile site that I could use to connect to my real-world contacts while Twitter was and is essentially a public IM service. Now the two are basically identical in my circle.

I don’t mean to be a Facebook-hater. I still log in and give it a good effort; I just don’t connect to it anymore. Maybe the next update will bring the site more in-line with my usage and I can enjoy the service again.