Facebook has began rolling out another redesign of the home page. The changes are subtle but numerous. The left menu has been re-organized to provide quick access to core features such as News Feed and Messages, while the top menu has been beefed up and now displays the latest notifications (through a drop-down menu). A dedicated dashboard for applications and games has substituted the App bar. Other improvements include an updated search box and a rewritten photo uploader. The new design has already been made available to about 80 million users and will be rolled out to the remaining users over the coming days.
In related news, TechCrunch is reporting that Facebook is currently working on a full featured webmail product dubbed Project Titan. Titan would replace the existing messaging system, which is in desperate need of an overhaul. Users will be assigned e-mail addresses based on their vanity URLS – email@example.com.
The decision to offer webmail is an interesting one. Facebook is obviously hoping to become an integral part of one’s online life and identity. Millions of users are already using Facebook Connect as their online identity and this represents the next logical step for Facebook.
Facebook is not the first social network to go down this route (MySpace did it in 2008); however it definitely has big ambitions. In fact, Project Titan is being unofficially dubbed as the “Gmail Killer”. While that may be a bit of an overstatement, there is no denying the fact that Facebook already has the volume required to make a significant impact.