Facebook launching Profile Clean-up Tool, giving apps the boot

Always vigilantly protective of its elegant design and simple user experience, Facebook has taken note of user complaints about profile page application clutter and will soon be launching a Profile Clean-up Tool, reminiscent of the Windows Desktop Cleanup Wizard, to help users boot superfluous application boxes from their profile page.

The Profile Clean-up Tool will recommend that users keep the Friends, Mini Feed, Wall, Basic and Personal Information boxes, as well as the top 12 application boxes they have added. A “Show Extended Profile” link will be added to the bottom of the profile page that will show profile boxes for all the other apps the user has installed.

Since the profile box is a major point of both existing user re-engagement and new user acquisition, any move by Facebook to “hide” application boxes from profile pages could negatively impact application use and growth. However, the default setting of the Profile Clean-up Tool to keep 12 application boxes visible by default should not have catastrophic effects: since the average Facebook user has about 13 apps installed (800 million apps have been installed [Adonomics] / 60 million active users [Facebook], not all of whom have apps), this change could result in about 10-20+% of application profile boxes being hidden (depending on the actual app distribution).

Ultimately, this is a good move by Facebook to protect the user experience. Decreasing the number of application boxes on profile pages will keep profile pages loading quickly (some profile pages with dozens of app can take 20-30 seconds or more to load).

[via Julie Zhuo/Facebook]