Facebook gets a new design for its sixth birthday

Facebook is celebrating its sixth birthday by undergoing some cosmetic surgery and getting a new look.

The changes were announced by Facebook engineer Jing Chen on the Facebook blog, saying: “Today, we started rolling out the most recent navigation updates to help you find what you are looking for on Facebook. Now from the top and left menus you can quickly get to what’s new and important.”

The new design focuses more on chat so users can send messages to friends in their social network directly from the Facebook homepage, plus there will be a larger search box. Notifications have also moved so that now, when a friend of colleague writes ‘LOL’ underneath a drunken picture of you, it’ll appear in the top left-hand corner.

The Live Feed and News Feed sections which were introduced last year, have been streamlined into a single News Feed, with a “Most Recent” tab for live updates. Any Other highlights will be available under the “Top News” tab. Videos uploaded to the social-networking site will now appear under the Photos section.

The changes will not be immediate for all Facebook’s estimated 400 million users but they are being rolled out over the next few months. However Facebook users commenting on the blog have criticised the new look with comments like “Hate it!” and “This is weird and over simplified in a way that is counter intuitive!”.

Today figures were released that Facebook accounts for nearly half of all the time people in the UK spend going online using their phones with 2.2bn minutes spent browsing the site during December 2009 alone.

Facebook users are well known to enjoy nothing more than writing ‘LOL’ under a picture of a drunkenly passed out friend or relative.