Internally, we had mixed feelings about the new Facebook layout, with most of us having warm feelings about the change. But one thing we all were able to agree on is their preferential treatment of applications. I’ve gone on record numerous times saying that 2010 will be the year of Facebook apps. And it feels good to know that Facebook confirms our hunches on this.
Farmville isn’t an “Application”. It’s a “Game”
By now, all users should have gotten the new layout. If you haven’t noticed, the application market has taken it’s own direction within the Facebook ecosystem, which Facebook acknowledged by separating them out from Games. This is very useful to developers like Inigral because part of our education process to our audience is around making the distinction between our applications for colleges and universities, and Games like Farmville and Mafia Wars. Clicking “Applications” brings the user to a page for their non-game applications, their friends’ recent activity in applications, and which applications their friends are using.
The most interesting change that took place on the new home page is that Facebook did not include Groups in the rearrangement. Each Page, Group, and Application is bound to receive passerby traffic from Facebook users simply logging into their account and browsing the latest activity on their home dashboard. With the new arrangement, Facebook applications will be the only channels to receive that traffic.
Apps on the left-hand rail
By clicking the “more” button on the left-hand rail of the homepage, a list of applications drops down ordered by the amount of use it gets. In the screenshot of my Facebook profile, Arizona State on Facebook ranks first, and is conveniently located above the “fold.” This is a great marketing opportunity for marketing and reengagement on campus. Trying to get students to come back to your page or group when they log into Facebook everyday will be a chore.
Since this change is so new, we haven’t been able to measure any changes in traffic to our apps as a result of the change yet. But we’re optimistic about the turnout.