A few weeks ago, I logged on to Facebook to see if any of my friends had dared to challenge me in another game of word twist. As was expected, due to my unprecedented dominance in the game, no one had. What was not expected, however, was an inconspicuous link at the top of the page telling me to try the New Facebook. So, I decided to check it out.

This New Facebook had an entirely different layout, putting many elements of friends Profiles on various tabs and allowing for greater control of what your friends see on your profile. In my opinion, the change was an upgrade. Gone were the days of needing to scroll past super pokes, ninja and pirate fights, graffiti, aquariums, and the latest roshombo matches to write on the walls of friends who dont seem to know how to click no to application invites. In general, things felt cleaner and easier to use. Not everybody sees it the way I do though. When I showed it to my boyfriend, he was appalled at the changes. He had gotten used to Facebooks layout and did not want to go through the hassle of learning a new layout and figuring out how to do what he wants to do on Facebook. Luckily for him, Facebook was kind enough to put a link at the top of the New Facebook allowing you to go back to the old Facebook experience. He eagerly went back to the familiar styles he has come to love. Facebook is clearly being cautious with this release, providing links to allow users to give feedback and input prior to the full release. A friend who signed up for Facebook last week was even introduced to the old Facebook, rather than pushed to the new, indicating Facebook is not ready to make the new site the standard. The beta testing style of this release made me curious as to how many Facebook users have decided to check out the New Facebook since its rollout.

Since its rollout, the New Facebook has progressively attracted more visitors as the weeks of summer roll by. As of the week of August 10th, more than half of all Facebook users have at least checked out the new site. By the week of August 17th, that visitor count had topped 60% of all Facebook users. Because Facebook has slowly rolled out this new site, inviting more and more people to check out the New Facebook each week, this chart only tells us half the story. It is also important to look at how many users checked out the New facebook and then decided to go back to the old style in the same session.

Facebook users using the New Facebook are slowly trending towards only using it, rather than clicking to go back to the old. This has leveled off in the last couple of weeks, holding steady at about 40% of Facebook users checking out the new site deciding to click back to the old. Having 60% of users continue on to use the new site is good news for Facebook, as it indicates users are beginning to come around to the new style. It is clear that Facebook has learned and grown from its last major new release. For those of you that dont recall, in Sept. 2006 Facebook suddenly unveiled its mini feedwhich shocked and scared off many of its users with its openess and seemingly invasion of privacy. This time around, Facebook is letting its users get accostomed to the new style at their own pace, as well as allowing them to provide feedback regarding the new design. Hopefully for Facebook, this will result in more satisfied users, while in my opinionproviding users with a cleaner, more streamlined Facebook experience.