Facebook to Remove "Boxes" Next Week, While MySpace Plans a Big Overhaul. Coincidence?

Categories: Silicon Beach
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Is Facebook trying to be the old MySpace?
You probably know what a Facebook box is: those little profile decorations that announce what books you're reading, reviews of movies you've just watched, recent tweets, and other related info. Well, as of next Monday, August 23, they'll be wiped from your Facebook profile and newsfeeds for good. Facebook subtly mentioned it via a blog post a few days ago.

This might come as a welcome surprise for a lot of Facebook users who cringe at the sight of overwhelming newsfeeds filled with countless mundane Foursquare check-ins, but for everyone else, it just spells the end of an era.

Now these boxes that display third-party content will be replaced by application tabs, making a standard Facebook page look less like a personal page and more like a website. Facebook friends will have to become Facebook stalkers and go into each person's individual page and click on each tab to keep tabs (pun intended) on everyone, wiping out the real allure of Facebook: laziness.

We can't help but think this is perfect timing for MySpace, which has been hiring for a "Big Stealth Project," according to recent job listings. The social network is planning a "major overhaul" over the next few months and yesterday celebrated the site's seventh birthday. But will the site get rid of spammers, those annoying Blingee gifs, and those creepy, sexually harassing messages from perfect strangers?

MySpace has already launched MySpace Mail and MySpace Events, and a site redesign will be completely rolled out by this Thursday, August 19. But will all of this be enough? MySpace is trying to drag in people with "knowledge of Facebook" with teasers such as "a plethora of ping pong tables, foosball tables, arcades, and game consoles to help the creative process" and "a cafeteria full of food, drinks, and snacks" on job postings. Umm, aren't all cafeterias stocked with food? What kind of operation were you running before, MySpace?

There's been a lot of talk that Facebook is trying to avoid becoming the next MySpace, filled with animated third-party widgets and useless information. But wait -- how useful is Farmville, really?

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