After Twitter and Snapchat introduced new graphic features like auto-play and animated selfie lenses, Facebook decided to get a step ahead in incorporating new graphic features to user profiles. These changes could make Facebook more visually stimulating and appealing, while simultaneously aligning its business with its user experience.
These features include:
- Profile Videos
Facebook users could upload a 7 second new profile video, which will auto-play without sound (unless clicked) on your profile. This will be a great opportunity for users to bring their profile to life.
I find this new technology very engaging as it can increase creativity of the users and add a new dimension to their profile!
- Featured Photos
This feature gives users the option to select upto five featured photos (which could include anything from your favourite activities to selfies) that will appear pinned to a section at the top of their profile. This could provide a better hint to your identity to those considering your friend request or who just met you.
I believe this feature will also help in easy identification of a user.
- Temporary Profile Pics
Users could select a profile picture that lasts for a specified time before reverting back to your previous profile picture. This would be useful for promoting a cause, an event or a special milestone.
- Visibility Controls and Bio
Facebook is adding in-line privacy controls to the ‘About’ information fields which will now appear on the profile immediately below the profile pic (As seen in Image 2). Users could also describe themselves in words within a new 100-character Bio field.
This feature could help people to easily find friends in a particular demographic area, university, school etc by directly looking into their profile as long as the information is public. Users will also be incentivized to keep their information up to date.
- Mobile Design
The final feature includes making these features appear in a different format by moving things around on the user profile in a mobile-friendly way. This involves enlarging and centring the profile photos/videos.
Facebook is currently testing these new updates in California and the UK with promises to roll out to users soon.
I believe these changes could have a huge impact on people, as they will start thinking about different and creative ways to express themselves through their user profiles. Brands could make use of these features, and create innovative ways of promotion and advertising. Features such as profile videos and temporary profile pics could enable brands, marketers, event managers etc to generate a shift in online marketing.
My question to you is- as a Facebook user, would these new features cause a concern to your privacy? Since Facebook has a wide range of users from various age groups, how comfortable do you think the users will be in adapting to these changes?