Early Thoughts on the (Latest) New Facebook Re-Design

The latest new Facebook re-design has been public for a few weeks now, and of course it's been accompanied with the usual chorus of complaints. I for one actually really like the updates that they've made. It's a short sample set, but I feel like this new format is instigating a lot more interaction. Since the "News Feed" is curated with Facebook's secret algorithm (a combination of your interaction habits and the breadth of connections you share), the stories I'm seeing on the front page really seem to be ones I'd want to engage in. Also, because they stick around longer more people seem to jump into the conversation around a piece of content, which is pretty cool. And when I want to take more time to browse my larger social graph, it's a quick click over to the "Live Feed", which even tells me how many stories I've missed since last checking.

Also now there's more useful utility above the fold in the sidebar - suggestions for interaction with lost connections, visible birthday reminders again, both things that lead to re-engagement with the broader friend circle. All together the site seems impressively more optimized for consistent interaction with your closest friends and assisted re-connection with your extended network. And really you can't overlook how important this is; Each day we add more connections and share more content inside Facebook. People already complain how much I share and I'm fairly conservative when it comes to social media hyper-users. Without aid from platforms like Facebook there is no scale to the future of social media. That's why Facebook is constantly trying out new methods of organization and optimization. I hated the previous move that turned the front page into a Twitter rip-off, but I'm liking this more Friendfeed-esque layout so far.

So what does everyone think? What was your first reaction, and if it was negative, is it growing on you? Or do you hate change? And if so what else do you think Facebook could do to prepare us for the future?