Notice anything different when you log into your groups on Facebook? Yep, there’s been some changes. It’s hard to miss the lovely soft-screened photos on the top of the new groups page, of course, but some other changes are more subtle. Technically the changes are a “limited redesign,” not a full redesign.
The photo band at the top is set up to be a rotating selection of images of the members of the group, but can be replaced with any images that the group administrators prefer.
They’ve also made links to the various elements of the group – photos, group documents, events, etc much more prominent and easy to find.
If you want to alter the cover photo for your group, you’ll need a pretty awkward photo with dimensions of “802 x 170-180 pixels, leaving a strip at the bottom, 30 pixels high of pure white” – according to Business2Community. Otherwise you can leave the rotating banner images. The banner is faded until you hover over it, and the strip that says number of members, number of events, number of photos, and number of docs disappears when you are hovered over the photo. The good news is the placement of the events/photos/members info is MUCH clearer than it was previously, making it easier to use.
While core functionality hasn’t really changed within the groups, the conversations are framed slightly better making them easier to sort out. Right now I can see some issues with the design change rollout; in my groups many status updates are appearing two or three times in the stream; I assume those are just hiccups in the rollout process.
Another change that is (in my opinion) beneficial is the new prominence of the group description; this helps members to remember to stay on target when posting and to decrease noise. Techcrunch puts it well:
This little prompt to display “What should people post” might not seem like a big deal, but if you’ve ever been in a big noisy Facebook Group, you probably wanted to tell everyone to shut up until you muted its notifications. Then you ceased to be alerted to the few useful posts and forgot all about the Group.
What do you think? Do you approve of the changes? Tell me in the comments!