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Facebook creates online focus group for new features

Facebook has a new group for testing new features. You in?

Facebook has a new group called Facebook Sneak Preview that is the social-networking equivalent of a focus group. The Facebook team will be showing off screenshots of upcoming Facebook features to get feedback to potentially avoid another user backlash like the one that came with the news feed privacy hullabaloo of 2006.

Right now there are three screenshots showcasing an updated layout with less clutter and more commonly used navigation put in the right places. One change in particular shows the networks selection option and the message in-box in a tabbed menu bar at the top of the screen. Normally if you're a member of multiple networks, you have to select between them halfway down your profile. Putting that and your message in-box on the top is just a good idea. There are other little tweaks, but it's good to see them taking an active approach to making the site more user-friendly.

Not new--but cool nonetheless--is the option to comment on each screenshot, allowing users to add their opinions on the changes. The same goes for a general forum on the main page of the group, which is currently being moderated by Facebook staff to keep conversation on-topic. We've got all three screens below.

[via Facebook Blog]