Social Media and Social Networking

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Facebook Launches Classic and Premium Versions (Post Updated Below)

Posted by Vaibhav Kalamdani on April 3, 2009

facebookIt seems Facebook is getting deep into making its site layout friendlier for its users. It has been hardly any time that Facebook set up its latest design update, and the social networking giant is at it again –this time by launching a couple of beta services in form of Facebook Classic and Facebook Premium. The two are distinctly different from each other and offer bundle of services for the users.

Facebook Classic allows users to choose a Facebook design of their choice. From the pre-news feed layout to the single-page layout (which was popular during the last year) beta users will get the license to select the interface as per their preference. According to Christopher Cox, Director of Product at Facebook, the ‘Classic’ version is in line with the company’s intent to respond to user-feedback as well as adapt the product for various usage models and forward-looking feature opportunities.

On the other hand, Facebook Premium is available to select users, and includes more features, that according to Cox “users have been clamoring for”. These features include better photo album navigation, better integration with Twitter and other social networks, auto-play music, improved granularity in the app and user blocking processes, new privacy options, and MySpace-style theming support. Though the pricing specifications of Facebook Premium were not announced, Cox, in a Wall-to-Wall conversation hinted that it would be on par with similar services like TiVo and Xbox Live and have some sort of enhanced microsystem system.

However, those opting for Facebook Premium will have to abide by the company’s new dynamic Terms of Service (TOS) agreement. Besides assuming ownership of the content posted on the site, the TOS will change on addition or removal of a design element from the user’s personalized homepage. Though many users may not be pleased with this, Cox argues that it will actually be beneficial for the users as it gives them a reason to check the TOS page and become familiar with the text.

How Facebook Premium Came Into Existence:

As per Cox, Facebook Premium evolved due to user feedback testing for Facebook Classic. It was found that Facebook members wished for more ways to customize their experience on the site, for which they were willing to pay as well.

The idea behind launching the ‘Premium’ version was to offer users with additional facilities so that they can enjoy benefits like removing unwanted elements such as the banner ads, enhance their homepage and status updates with custom Premium themes, etc. Moreover, users will be allowed to access Facebook’s background service, which provides any user complete access to public as well as private data in other user’s profile for $8 per user, a one-time fee.

Background, which has been in closed trials since the past three years, will be accessible to all users when Facebook Premium gets activated in June. While monetizing is a big issue for Facebook today, this new service will provide opportunities to earn revenue from users subscribing to it.

Update:

A lot of discussion has been going on about the launch of Facebook Classic and Facebook Premium features. Here’s a quick update on the news:

It is believed that an individual group was started by scammers to deceive users with the information. The group (URL: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=295581108347) was finally removed by Facebook considering the growing misconception about the two features.

Please find more details about the same here and here.

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