“Explore Facebook” is a new interface for explaining core Facebook features, that compiles introduction pages within a main navigation bar to guide users through new and expanding ways to use the service.
Facebook’s long-time mobile site is joined by splash pages for Badges, Chat, Places, and Questions. Each page explains the features, provides links to additional information and bug reporting, and in some cases indicate whether you have access yet. As Facebook grow beyond its core feature set, it’s important that it has an area to help users get more familiar with the different products.
When visiting any of the feature home pages, users will see the Explore Facebook navigation bar at the top. Many of the pages’ URLs include the term “Site Tour”, which might be related to the old but still accessible Guide To The Facebook Home Page — this interface is more visual and easier to learn from.
The following are the different pages currently included in the Explore Facebook bar:
Mobile provides users with how Facebook can interact with their mobile device. It includes a custom email address to which users can send content to be uploaded to their profile without using a mobile browser. Users can also set up SMS notifications and find links to download their device’s Facebook app.
Badges provides users with embed codes which can be used to show parts of their Facebook profiles elsewhere on the web. Users can copy codes for profile, Like, photo, and Page badges in versions optimized for Blogger and Typepad, or a general version.
Chat offers links to Pidgin, Adium, and iChat clients which work with Facebook Chat. Users can also copy domain, server, and Jabber ID specifications which can be used to create a Facebook Chat account on other instant messaging services.
Places explains Facebook’s location service’s uses, shows a selection of friends who are using Places, and provides links to an FAQ and Places privacy controls. At the bottom users can see which mobile devices support Places, and whether their country currently has access.
Questions shows a stream of recent Questions, explains how to ask and answer Questions, and even lets users ask Questions — if they currently have access. Those to which the feature is yet to be rolled out see a description of when they’ll receive access, such as “Facebook Questions will be available to everyone in the US within the next few weeks, so please check back.”
In the future, we expect other Facebook product splash pages to appear in the bar as well, like the one for Credits.