I speculated when Facebook removed applications from the sidebar that they’d use the freed-up space for something else.
However, I’ve observed a trend recently that’s more far reaching and more fundamental to Facebook’s success.
Facebook Aiming to Increase Member Engagement
Engagement, i.e., member activity and interaction, is the lifeblood of social media sites. Engagement keeps a social media site humming, and it creates revenue from advertising and other fees. The Facebook changes are being orchestrated to increase member engagement on their site.
How so? Could removing applications from Facebook Profile page actually help rather than hurt member engagement?
Yup. It could.
Your Facebook Home Page
Facebook is removing applications from your Profile page but adding them to the sidebar of your Home page. They’re already listed there, right below the list of your new Facebook groups. Facebook is turning your Home page sidebar into your Facebook navigation pane.
Why go to the trouble of rearranging the Facebook interface? I can think of two good reasons:
- It’s simpler - From your Facebook Home page you can navigate to many of the other pages you care about.
- Greater engagement - More importantly, we’re too focused on our Profile and business pages. Therefore, Facebook is gently shepherding us to our Home pages where we’ll find our News Feeds, and we’ll view content posted by the friends and Facebook pages we follow. That will, in turn, increase our engagement.
Typically, the most important page of a social media site is its home page. The home pages of Facebook and other social sites are designed to engage you with fellow members and their content.
Facebook application tabs are going away, but not the Facebook applications themselves. They’re now on your Home page, and Facebook want you to be there too.
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