I don’t think it’s seriously retarded – even though 3 of my friends clearly do so – but I’m not quite sure it’s seriously well thought out.
Besides all the obvious stuff that the Techcrunch-Mashable-Valleway triumvirate have been gabbling about, i.e. how Facebook is being more “Twitter-like”, the new Facebook homepage seems like a copy. I’m not sure of what but it has that feeling you get when you look at an HP computer that looks like an iMac but isn’t quite the real thing. There’s something missing somewhere.
And it’s probably intention
The new FB homepage isn’t intended to create anything new. It was created to copy somebody else’s intentions. Probably Twitter’s. Therefore, when redesigning it, rather than addressing and solving a Facebook-related problem, the FB designers were simply trying to figure out a way of incorporating somebody else’s features into their own site without making it look too shoddy. And as 37Signals chief-dude said a few weeks ago, copying designs never quite works. It feels wrong somehow. I’m not quite sure what it is but the look-and-feel of the new homepage doesn’t quite come across as a smooth. Nothing like when they introduced Chat/IM which was a totally Facebook oriented solution to helping users communicate faster.
Anyways, time will tell. And I don’t really use the homepage much anyway…