Last night social networking heavy hitter Facebook
got a significant update in the form of the News Feed. The News Feed is a sort of dashboard that consolidates all of the recent updates relevant to you, e.g. your friends' profile changes, new members of your groups, new events, photos, and so on. Though I'm disappointed that there's no actual feed in the RSS/Atom sense, I am pretty impressed with the interface. Each category has a unique icon, e.g. a heart (or broken heart) for relationship status changes, a calendar icon for events, a flag for political issues, and so on. It also puts the full text of wall posts and thumbnails of photos right there in the feed. In addition to the News Feed, every user's profile now features a Mini-Feed which shows all of their recent activity.
The News Feed basically condenses all the day-to-day information that Facebook power-users would have spent a lot of time clicking around for into a single page, which is essentially the opposite of what MySpace does
. MySpace takes advantage of poor design and endless clicks to maximize pageviews
at the expense of usability. Facebook seems to have taken a stand against that sort of pageview inflation and made user convenience its first priority. Sorry for hating on MySpace, but it's really refreshing to see someone else do it right.