Live: Facebook Discusses New Profile Design


Facebook has invited a group of bloggers and journalists to its offices on Hamilton Street in Palo Alto today to discuss the details of its upcoming profile redesign, which we’re told will launch in a few weeks.

Keep checking in here as I share my notes from the event.

Elliot Schrage has kicked things off by saying today will be more focused on Q&A than the last event, which was about Facebook Chat.

Chamath Palihapitiya, VP of Product Marketing, is discussing the vision behind the profile redesign, and the mini-feed/news feed in particular.

Goals for new design:

  • For users: Make profiles cleaner and simpler, give users more control over their profiles, and emphasize recent and relevant information
  • For developers: Create more meaningful engagement with users, offer new integration points in profiles, and provide distribution for engaging applications

Going to give developers a beta period to step into sandbox and play with new design, so they’re ready when profile gets rolled out in coming weeks.

New design takes advantage of tabs; goal to split up different types of information, make it simpler to navigate.

The basics: feed, info, photos, boxes, and custom application tabs.

Feed Tab

Heart of the new profile. Continuous stream of all different types of information. Includes wall posts. With publisher tool, both owners and viewers can create content on the profile. With story re-sizing feature, users can choose from 3 different sized stories.’

Info Tab

Contains contents of original core Facebook profile. Reason for splitting the feed and info tabs: feed content changes often, info content tends to be more static.

Want to make the info tab extensible for third party developers (no details yet what that will entail).

Photos Tab

14 million photos uploaded daily, 6 billion total – a very popular application across Facebook, hence its own tab.

Photos is just one example of many apps that can blow up and get their own tabs.

Boxes Tab

Place for application boxes, as you see mixed in with information and feed on current profile. All current boxes on profile will be completely preserved. Users will still have control over moving boxes around, resizing them, etc. “A lot of value here” to putting boxes on own page.

Custom Application Tab

Users can create individual tabs for each application, to showcase their favorites. You can control where the tabs show up.

Now turning to how applications will plug into new profile…

New design will allow for more engaging apps, developers to reach users in more meaningful ways.

Main integration points:

Feed Tab

Applications can publish directly into users’ feeds. With publisher, applications can integrate directly into the profile. With story re-sizing, developers can offer 3 different sized stories for users to choose from: full, medium, and one line.

Info Tab

Applications can add text and images on the info tab page to provide more information about a user. List top friends, top music choices, etc. “New ways for users to represent themselves”. Travel, sports, entertainment are all possible areas to do this.

Boxes Tab

As said before, all boxes moved over here. Two types of boxes: wide and narrow

Custom Application Tab

Similar to application canvas pages, promote application visibility. “Should drive extra app traffic”

Handing it over to Q&A now…

Facebook hasn’t decided yet whether the Wall will be completely integrated into the Feed tab. They may leave it as its own tab, or they might integrate it fully and then allow users to filter by just wall posts vs. other mini-feed-like updates. Still working with users about this.

Plan for June launch, “few weeks”

We’ve been putting more Ajax on the site over the last 7-8 months, which should show that Facebook focuses on engagement, not page views. Says profile design is meant for more engagement, not increasing page views.

Expect to see static apps not be as successful as they were in the past — new design benefits dynamic ones the most. While boxes stored away on a separate tab, they can also be given their own tab and integrated into the publisher tool, which shows up on the feeds tab.

Facebook plans to walk users through process of switching over to new profile.

The ability to import data from other sites will be maintained with new profile. The publisher tool have this ability as well.

“We’re trying to build these pipes that carry information” (sounds like the internet to me).

Facebook still plans to have a column that displays application boxes regardless of whether they’re on the info or feed tabs. These boxes, however, will have height restrictions.

Everything is still in flux with regards to the new design, so this column layout with its templated areas could change.

The new profile will be a bit bigger, coming in at 760 pixels wide. It will also be debuted with a new general site design that lacks the left-hand column and puts most options in a top bar with dropdown menus. See a screenshot and details of the design at Inside Facebook.

More TechCrunch

When I attended Automate in Chicago a few weeks back, multiple people thanked me for TechCrunch’s semi-regular robotics job report. It’s always edifying to get that feedback in person. While…

These 81 robotics companies are hiring

The top vehicle safety regulator in the U.S. has launched a formal probe into an April crash involving the all-electric VinFast VF8 SUV that claimed the lives of a family…

VinFast crash that killed family of four now under federal investigation

When putting a video portal in a public park in the middle of New York City, some inappropriate behavior will likely occur. The Portal, the vision of Lithuanian artist and…

NYC-Dublin real-time video portal reopens with some fixes to prevent inappropriate behavior

Longtime New York-based seed investor, Contour Venture Partners, is making progress on its latest flagship fund after lowering its target. The firm closed on $42 million, raised from 64 backers,…

Contour Venture Partners, an early investor in Datadog and Movable Ink, lowers the target for its fifth fund

Meta’s Oversight Board has now extended its scope to include the company’s newest platform, Instagram Threads, and has begun hearing cases from Threads.

Meta’s Oversight Board takes its first Threads case

The company says it’s refocusing and prioritizing fewer initiatives that will have the biggest impact on customers and add value to the business.

SeekOut, a recruiting startup last valued at $1.2 billion, lays off 30% of its workforce

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender SoLo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

OpenAI is removing one of the voices used by ChatGPT after users found that it sounded similar to Scarlett Johansson, the company announced on Monday. The voice, called Sky, is…

OpenAI to remove ChatGPT’s Scarlett Johansson-like voice

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

Dating app maker Bumble has acquired Geneva, an online platform built around forming real-world groups and clubs. The company said that the deal is designed to help it expand its…

Bumble buys community building app Geneva to expand further into friendships

CyberArk — one of the army of larger security companies founded out of Israel — is acquiring Venafi, a specialist in machine identity, for $1.54 billion. 

CyberArk snaps up Venafi for $1.54B to ramp up in machine-to-machine security

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

1 day ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century