No, facebook is not going away. And yes, they’re cleaning up their act.
If you are one of those for whom facebook, or FB as the fanboys call it, is the be-all and end-all of social networks, there is some good news and some bad news. The good news is that facebook is working on version 2.0 of their social platform which is going to make your profiles a lot less cluttered than they currently are. The bad news is that the changes are going to be quite far reaching and might force you to learn a new way to interact with facebook and its applications.
I’m one of those who tend to think of the applications as the killer feature of any social platform. I mean, meeting people and interacting with them is all fine, but nothing beats the fun of turning your best friend into a vampire or sending over virtual roses to your high school crush. For people like me, the redesigned facebook will bring about a change in the way we interact with the applications. Until now, a user had to install an application to be able to use it, but after this change, the user will be able to see an application after a simple authentication and then decide wether he/she wants the application to be displayed in the apps tab. Yes, unlike the current interface, there will be a tab dedicated to applications.
As a facebook user, I think thats a good thing. This would atleast take some clutter out of my profile page, for sure.
For the developers, though, this isn’t such a good thing since the developers will now have to put in more effort in their applications. Given the short attention span of web users, the developers will have to impress the users enough to be able to make them add their applications to their apps page. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that the applications now have a whole canvas to play but the bad thing, like I said, is that the applications themselves will have to improve and the promotional methods, bordering on spamming, used by applications of the past, will not work now.
Only time will tell wether this move will be beneficial for facebook per se, since they really don’t have much time before the opensocial scene picks up.