piece written on the 28th April 2014 by  

I was updating my social network profiles the other afternoon using multiple screens to ensure that my profiles all look similar in terms of branding. Whilst doing this I noticed that Twitter and Facebook have started to look awfully similar. I was then very interested to see that a friend of mine, Ross, had also noticed this and shared a similar image to the one below.

Twitter & Facebook

If you look at the two images above really quickly and imagine not seeing the big “TWITTER” and “FACEBOOK” titles that I’ve added, it would probably take you a few seconds to see which social network is which. Heck, it took me a few seconds when I was adding those headings!

I don’t think there’s anything really profound behind this, Facebook isn’t buying Twitter nor is Twitter buying Facebook (at least I doubt it), but there is definitely a great deal of psychology behind this that could be explored and learnt from. If two of the biggest social networks on the Internet are looking a certain way, there’s an incredibly good chance that this sort of look / feel / layout is what human beings feel most comfortable with, which then goes on to say a great deal about the way human beings perceive things online. That sounds quite alternative and all but think about it for a second..

But here’s the kicker, I then searched for a MySpace layout in Google images and came up with this:


I’m not a user experience designer or anything to that nature, but even I can see similarities – If you imagine the background being blue at the top and white below that, it would look almost the same as the Twitter and Facebook designs above!

Now I said there was nothing profound, but think about this: MySpace was the in thing for a long time, but as Facebook grew so did MySpace die. But will Facebook remain forever? I don’t believe so, I believe that the next big thing will come and it really does strike me as interesting seeing both Twitter and Facebook looking somewhat like MySpace because it feels like a circle is occurring and usually when that happens the next big thing comes along. Are Twitter and Facebook innovating enough to keep their market share?

Google+ isn’t quite the same in that they have gone with the 2 column approach, instead of the somewhat sidebar/content layout like the others (for the time being that is).

Call it pie in the sky, but I believe there’s merit to this.

What do you think?