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Friday, May 23, 2008

The Sandbox For New Facebook Profile Design Is Now Open

Facebook today opened up it's beta sandbox for the new profile design. It is expected to come out of beta next month. Users have enough time to test the new design with their applications.

"We believe that the new design makes profiles cleaner and simpler, gives users more control over their profiles, and emphasizes recent and relevant information. We hope that as you try out the new application integration points, you'll start thinking of ways you can engage your users more meaningfully. We expect applications that engage users with rich content and great experiences will thrive with the new design.

We'll be announcing several related changes over the next few days. Plus we'll be giving you greater insight into the various integration points and user migration details, so stay tuned to this blog for more details." said Pete Bratach.

Accessing the Sandbox

The sandbox is located at www.new.facebook.com/profile.php.

To start testing, you need to download the new version of the Facebook PHP client library. It's available from


If you want to take the new design out for a test drive before changing your own applications, you can tinker with the MySmiley application. With it you can test all the new integration points (like create different-sized Feed stories, use the Publisher to create Feed content, add an application info section, place a box on the Boxes tab or left column, and create a custom application tab). You can use the test application at apps.new.facebook.com/mysmiley and view the application source code at svn.facebook.com/svnroot/platform/samples/smiley/.

Remember this is a beta sandbox for the new profile only, so some features are not necessarily enabled and others are still in flux. So you should expect some changes from what you see right now before this goes live. However, the features that are relatively stable and ready to test, explore, and comment on are the specific APIs and integration points, including:

  • New Feed story sizes and types – including the template bundles
  • Adding application tabs, and how application tabs function
  • Publisher integration
  • Setting up the new “main profile section” and adding those to profiles
  • Application info sections

You can check the status of known issues and changes in the sandbox on the Facebook Developers Wiki.

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