Backlash Against The New Facebook Design Surges to New Levels

When Facebook decided to launch the new design last week, they received very little feedback in contrast to the previous redesign which went through substantial user testing over the period of months. To start, the New Layout Vote application that I wrote about yesterday has surged to over 2.16 million monthly active users despite Facebook’s attempts to decrease its spread by limiting invites to two users per day.

One user, Jason Kulas, has gone so far as to develop an extensive protest resource guide and there are plenty of references to articles and groups that have been created to protest the design. One group called “MEMBERS WANT THE OLD FACEBOOK BACK” has surged in popularity to 306,000 members and is growing by the minute.

There have been numerous uproars by Facebook users over the years and this one is turning in to one of the biggest. Unfortunately for Facebook, the decision to change was part of a new movement toward openness and backing down from the latest redesign would go against the movement that was started weeks ago.

One thing that is well know about Facebook users is that despite their widespread support of President Obama (he has the most popular page on Facebook), many users are not supportive of change. Every time Facebook makes a change there is widespread user backlash but Facebook appeared to be efficient at quelling user backlash during the last design iteration by warning users of the impending change months ahead of it taking place.

There was also a fan page called “Facebook Profile Previews” in which Facebook solicited feedback from users. Facebook has a large problem on their hands this time around though. According to Owen Thomas, a large number of Facebook employees don’t like the new design yet Mark Zuckerberg sent out a memo suggesting that “disruptive companies don’t listen to their customers”.

Those customers are now putting together their own movement against Facebook, spreading out their protest across multiple groups and applications. By the beginning of next week, a much larger percentage of Facebook users could be lashing out and Facebook will be left to pick up the pieces. While I doubt Facebook will revert back to the previous design, I would expect a blog post from Mark Zuckerberg in the next few days which justify this change.

Unfortunately the post may not be enough, only fueling the fire behind the protesters who are becoming more vocal each day. Do you like the new design are you part of the group that hates the design?

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