Last month, we picked up on a small change to the FacebookFacebook
interface – the removal of regional networks when browsing groups of friends. We were of the belief that it was a precursor to the removal of regional networks on Facebook, something they launched in 2006 to expand Facebook beyond its college roots.
Now regional networks are gone. We first noticed the change when I was trying to search for my Facebook friends in New York City to plan for an upcoming trip. Friend after friend had their college or work networks, but no regional network. So I checked my own. Sure enough, “Silicon Valley” was gone, and so were the local networks for all of the MashableMashable
We were vaguely aware that this move was coming. It has long been part of Facebook’s Twitterification plan. It wants to expand from tight regional networks into a worldwide platform for conversation, much like TwitterTwitter
, which is trying to become the world’s water cooler.
So yes, we were warned, but we’re still a bit shocked. We feel lost without them. I still want to contact all my NYC friends and tell them I’m coming to visit. We can see why Facebook is making this move (even if we don’t agree with it), but we’re not sure if the hometown feature will compensate.
We’ve emailed Facebook to get their reaction, and will update this post when we get it. Tell us in the comments if you’ve noticed the removal of your network, or if yours is still standing for now (it’s possible this change is coming in waves as well).
Update: We got a response from Facebook. We were referred to their July 1 post on the matter, as they announced the feature would be “phased out.” It may be that today was the phase out of networks on profile pages.