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Facebook redesigns Publisher – hints at something bigger?

Today Facebook redesigned the Publisher (the box at the top of your Wall and News Feed that allows you to share content),  hinting at the possibility of something bigger in the works.

Here’s what it used to look like:

Old Facebook Publisher

When you clicked inside the text box, the Publisher would expand and application names and icons would appear underneath to allow you to share specific items such as links, photos, videos, etc.

Old Facebook Publisher (expanded)

And here’s the new design:

New Facebook Publisher

As you can see, the application icons are already visible; you don’t need to have the cursor focus in the text box to see them. I suspect this will be a welcome change for many people, as on more than one occasion I’ve been asked by a confused friend how to post links with the previous Publisher. (Clicking in the text box first was not as intuitive as it should be, it seems.)

More interestingly, there is now quite a large gap between the application icons and the “Share” button. Is this redesign of the Publisher in preparation for the rumored “Everyone button” that TechCrunch and All Facebook have written about? It does seem quite likely.

Here’s a FBHive mock-up of what the future Publisher box might look like:

Future Facebook Publisher? (FBHive mock-up)

So what is the “Everyone button”, anyway?

The “Everyone button” would purportedly allow you to make individual status messages, links, photos, videos, etc. visible to the public (much like Twitter) and searchable with Facebook’s shiny new search engine (much like Twitter).

If you haven’t noticed, Facebook have been taking a lot of design and functionality cues from Twitter ever since they failed to buy them out (if you can’t buy ‘em, beat ‘em?). If  the “Everyone button” does become a reality, it will be another feature to add to that growing list.

What do you think of the new Publisher design? Do you believe an “Everyone button” is on the horizon?

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