I logged in to my Facebook account today and saw that Facebook has once again changed things up. Since the changes are being rolled out to just a few users right now, here are a few screengrabs of the new layout.

(Click for a larger version.)

It looks like they’ve really cleaned things up – most everything has been moved to the top navigation bar, and account functions are now available via a drop-down menu. Also, the search bar has been expanded, and now occupies the center of the menu bar. Finally, 3 notification icons have been added, ala the Windows system tray – “Friend Requests,” “Messages,” and “Notifications.”

Said one Facebook engineer,

“We’re releasing a set of products designed to improve your everyday experience,” said Facebook engineer Jing Chen in a blog post. “In keeping with our commitment to innovation, these product releases are part of Facebook’s ongoing efforts to streamline the site and make it easier to use.
“For example, when you receive a Facebook notification about someone writing on your Wall or tagging you in a photo, you’ll see a red bubble appear in the left-hand corner, near the search bar. When you click on the icon, you’ll see a drop-down menu with the most recent notifications.”

All in all, I think they succeeded – I really like the new look.

I have to wonder if they are taking aim at Google with the newly prominent search box placement. After all, you can search for literally anything in that box, and the results will show you not only Facebook pages, but internet-wide search results as well.

What do you think? How do you like the new Facebook look and feel?