Much to my disappointment, it would seem that Facebook is no longer running with Facebook lite up and running. I logged on to facebook a few hours ago to do that regular thing where you go around and find up what all the people you went to high school with are up to and if there is any yummy drama that you can get in on. And, I usually do this through the interface that facebook developed to improve loading times and the like for those on a 56k modem or dial-up of any kind. The added bonus of course to that interface is that it only provides you with the status updates of your friends, and more importantly than that, the majority of the facebook API is dropped in favor of usability. In fact the only thing that it featured was the status updates of your friends, nothing else, no stupid notes about who has found what cow where on their imaginary farm, no notes about some application about killing people in a digital mafia war. Really, its everything that facebook should have displayed “Who you know, who they blow, and what they think about it all”. So you can imagine my dismay when I logged in today to discover that my profile had been reverted to the web 2.0 tastic version of facebook, only to be told that my Dad has found a new soup recipe and someone else is in need of more carrots on their farm.
This isn’t of course to say that Facebook Lite was perfect, in fact there were some session maintenance issues where the site would just forget that you were logged in at all. So you could just be browsing your friends list, and all of the sudden the site just kind of “Forgets” you logged in at any point and it than kindly redirects you to the login page. And if you had any intention of trying to upload photos / videos you can just give up on that now. The interface was somewhat lacking in that department, and when I did my monthly kitty shuffle [I change my facebook photo to a new cat every month], I had to return to the wonderful ajax and information overflow version of facebook. So it was not by any means a perfect system, but it certainly did make things easier.
But yes, it would seem that facebook has dropped facebook lite for whatever reason I’m sure, and you can probably tell this by the fact that lite.facebook.com is now just a redirect to facebook.com, and judging by the fact that google still has the site listed as up and online, I’m going to assume that this change is somewhat recent. And just to further confirm that facebook lite has been removed, if you go to your account control panel, you’ll notice this option is sadly now missing from its previous home on one of the many account control tabs.
This of course means its time to return to normal facebook, and that I can no longer be a facebook hipster [it’ s funny because I’m not a hipster] with my mad lite GUI and a nifty interface that doesn’t just “forget” to update the news feed because it’s just not in the mood. Also there is that small note of information overload that comes with the current default facebook layout. While I like my friends, I don’t care about them enough to want to see every single thing they are doing at any given time of the year. I don’t care who commented on a person I don’t know’s status, if anything given the terrible nature of friend hoarding on facebook, there’s a good chance I don’t even know the person commenting either. I don’t care about the various applications, I guess I just like the status updates because they amuse me.
And maybe that’s why twitter does so well, because it’s not an information overload at all, it’s just a series of 140 character status updates which I think everyone can appreciate that slimmed down data flow.
The company hasn’t said anything officially on their blog in terms of an explanation as of yet [11:30 AM 4/21/2010], but according to information weekly the companies facebook page, there was a note that they have taken down the page and apparently learned a lot from it [Perhaps session handling, and why cookies are good?]. It’s a shame, but all companies grow and evolve, and if nothing else, facebook will mutate their page again in a few months and it will no doubt infuriate the population of facebook with no real justification of such. In fact I applaud facebook for continuing to push the boundry in terms of managing to keep customers despite pissing them off by never actually keeping your layout. They are getting away with ignoring the first rule of systems design and people keep coming back, delightful
Well, until later I suppose,
Goodbye Facebook Lite, it was fun while it lasted