Is The New Facebook Dashboard An Effective Alternative To Notifications?

Facebook developers got an early glimpse of how the new Facebook dashboard will function when it was posted to the developer wiki last week. Facebook published a copy of the current iteration of the games dashboard which includes stories from recent games you’ve played and a feed of the games that your friends are playing. Developers can start testing out a number of new dashboard API methods, however developers do not have access to view the beta dashboard.

Facebook also provided further clarification on how the new application counters will function. For those that have an iPhone, you’ll notice that it functions similarly to how application notifications currently function. The counter will simply show up on the new left-hand sidebar that will appear on the new homepage. What still isn’t clear is whether it will only be bookmarked applications that are displayed in this counters area.

Over a month ago, Facebook signaled that they were still working on a solution for letting non-bookmarked applications contact users. At the time, Kelly Winters updated the Roadmap Counter page to state that “we are still designing exactly how Counters will be displayed beside non-bookmarked apps”. Over a month later there doesn’t appear to be much clarification although I’d assume that there will be more updates from Facebook over the next couple weeks.

For those curious about the Dashboard news stories, they will essentially serve as replacements of the previous one-line feed stories which are being deprecated from user profiles combined with notifications. Each news story can include a 64 x 64 pixel image and 50 characters of text. There is also an action link as with traditional stream stories. For more information you can check out the Dashboard API page.

We’ll have to wait and see whether or not the dashboard ends up being an effective substitution for notifications. Do you think the dashboard will help applications or were notifications a more effective system?

-Facebook Dashboard Screenshot-