Ever since Facebook opened up to third-party app developers last year, the social network has had a clutter problem: Its once-spartan look is now increasingly compared to the ADD jumble that is MySpace. The company’s response? A redesign that cleans things up, a bit.
Yesterday Facebook unveiled new screenshots of the new look, coming… sometime soon, apparently. The gist is that Facebook is offering an array of “tabs” that will make it easier to show one thing you’re interested in — applications, newsfeed, etc — instead of everything at once.
Will this matter? The clutter on Facebook has often been cited as a reason for Facebook fatigue (check out commenter Mark from yesterday). And we’re betting that the network has heard these complaints, too. We don’t think a new design will help the service add more users, or reclaim ones that have left. But if executed well, it can help Facebook keep the users it has, and keep them on the site longer.
The problem: Facebook is ultimately a bit hamstrung here. It can clean up the site quite a bit, but it still has to allow for third-party apps, which means it has to allow for annoying, semi-spammy stuff like “Vampires” and the like. And it has to get ads in front of users, somehow, some way.
Check out some of the screenshots (the newest is on top). Will this be enough to keep you on the site? Let us know in comments.