Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Face(book)lifts All Around! And A Bit of Botox for AOL Too!

Although about one-third of its user base–30 million people–has already switched over to its new design, which has been opt-in since July, Facebook will now officially start to move the entire site and the other 70 million Facebookers.

The changeover–which is not optional–will be complete in a few weeks, Facebook said.

I do like the new look, which is definitely cleaner and simpler, although it makes the experience a little more disjointed, since everyone’s profile is now cut up into tabs.

But it is nice to be able to better customize your information via those tabs, and it is easier to navigate (although search on Facebook still stinks, and BoomTown actually looks forward to Microsoft’s attempt to tame this savage beast).

Of course, there have been a lot of complaints from users, and there is even a popular “I Hate the New Facebook” group on the site (natch!).

And not all third-party application developers like it either, including new navigational changes that limit instant user access to as many applications as before.

But that’s life in Zucker-berg!

Over at AOL, a division of Time Warner (TWX), there has also been some primping going on, which includes an interesting integration of popular third-party emails.

Now it is easy to add access to non-AOL email accounts, such as GMail and Yahoo! Mail, which sit right next to AOL Mail at the top of its main AOL home page. (See the image above and click on it to make it larger.)

Other changes are coming soon, all part of AOL’s laudable attempt at openness, to keep its Web site as relevant as possible.

Not that it has a choice. Back in its glory days, AOL was the emperor of the walled garden strategy, which kept users inside well-tended online paths and out of the wilds of the Internet at large.

Which, if you think about it, seems as quaint as the faux political nostalgia around small-town life these days.

But, since you apparently can’t put lipstick on a pig (or a pit bull either!), Green Acres is no longer the place to be in real life or on the Web.