Facebook is now introducing 5 changes to user profiles that will help make the social networking website more attractive and interactive.
This change is to stay ahead in the ‘graphics’ competition as Twitter’s auto-play video (just like Facebook’s) and Snapchat’s animated selfie lenses are there to attract users.
- 1. Temporary profile pictures
- 2. A mobile-centric design with a larger space for photos/friends along with a center-positioned profile photo
- 3. Featured photos can be pinned to the top of profile
- 4. About info section has good visibility controls with a 100 character Biofield
- 5. Users can set a 7-sec looping video as their profile pic
Facebook aims to make your profile the center of your web presence. Twitter and Snapchat hardly offer any features like that of Facebook, so users might be more appealed to using Facebook if improved customization options are introduced.
Aigerim Shorman (the project manager of the new profile) says that this design has been made to draw attention to “what’s going on in their life, what’s important to them now in more expressive ways.” Surely the stuff we post recently isn’t a reflection of who we are – that’s why placing all this on the top is needed.
The placement of biographical details on the front and center is crucial for Facebook’s advertising engine and also assists users to easily keep it up-to-date.
Let’s review these features one by one.
Temporary Profile Pictures
This feature allows its users to set a new profile pic which will automatically be changed back to the old profile pic after a specific time period (hours, days or weeks). This is convenient for users who want to change their pic to support a cause for one day or a week and then revert back to their old profile pic automatically. There are also some tools to filter your profile pic.
Facebook has introduced a mobile-first design that enables larger multimedia viewing, more space for photos/videos and places it in the center of the screen. There are bigger sections now for friends and photos below the profile pic and above the timeline.
Users can pin up to five Featured Photos that will be brought to a section at the top of the profile. This will enable other people to better understand you and have learned about who you are (typically helping those who send friend requests). They could be anything from work-at-the-office photos to selfies or even your pets. They are not your actual profile pic, rather, they’re just there to help people understand you.
Visibility Controls and Bio Field
The ‘About’ section will now have in-line privacy controls that would be seen at the top of your profile. Those friends who are set to public can now be seen below the profile pic, instead of finding them entombed in the ‘About’ section.
Also, a new space for describing oneself has been introduced, known as the Bio Field, having a 100- character space field. This would help others to know more about you, your work & hobbies, likes/dislikes and other stuff, as long as you keep it public.
Very soon users will see an option to record/upload a 7-sec video (with sounds) under the change your profile photo option. That video will automatically be played on your profile and news feed (without sounds) when you post it unless clicked. A static cover image would be displayed everywhere else.
“Earlier this half (year) we were having a brainstorm, and sometimes you find a gem. One of my designers called me over (to look at an engineer’s) Facebook at Work account. But his profile pic was moving. I thought ‘this is going to be a great expression opportunity.’ It brought the profile to life. You got to know the person better. So we got inspired to create an option to create a profile video,” says Shorman.
This is just like the moving picture in newspapers like in Harry Potter movies. This surely would unleash greater creativity in the future.
This is yet another innovative step that Facebook has taken to take its user experience to a whole new level. News and other articles seem boring to many as there is little room for interactive features. With these features heavier traffic is expected to flow to Facebook.