So, Facebook forced us all onto Timeline, and with that forcing came the attendant indignation and whining, as if Facebook were forcing its users on a death march or something. That said, the whining wasn’t wrong in one respect: Timeline blows. It’s not particularly intuitive or easy to use, and it’s often very messy. It’s never been clear why Facebook thought this was a good idea, but it’s not like its users get a vote.
Well, Facebook just wouldn’t be Facebook if it didn’t change its mind repeatedly, so, if the rumors are true, yet another new layout is on the way. And, even better, this one actually makes sense. But hidden in the redesign is something bigger: Classified ads.
First, the layout. It’s pretty simple: Your posts are on the left hand side, and everything else, like Spotify songs, app activity, and so on, is on the right hand side. Here’s an image:
This design actually… looks pretty good! It’s clearer, it make more sense, it shoves the crap off to one side… It’s a nice design. And it needs to be, because of the other program Facebook is testing out. Essentially, Facebook is rumored to be introducing a classified ad service, where you can plug what you want in a simple ad that turns up on both website and mobile feeds.
If this is true, and it seems likely it is, that’s a fairly big deal. The Internet has had just one purveyor of classified ads for a long time: Craigslist. Craigslist has been quietly profitable, chugging along under the radar.
I’m not sure Facebook can break CL’s classified stranglehold, but it’s hard to see why classified ads on Facebook wouldn’t be extremely popular, either. And, really, if we have to scroll past ads, better they be for local apartments than those ads trying to sell you underwear.