The 2012 Homepage and Client Update occurred on March 19-20th, 2012 [verification needed] and is one of the many updates expected to occur in the next few months. The main homepage (often referred to as the "Me" page) took a major redesign by eliminating many website features and moving them to the client. The client now features a whole new hotel view that focuses on quests as the central theme. These updates quickly gained extreme criticism and disagreement by the majority of the overall Habbo community with only a small portion supporting it.
The homepage update is possibly the most noticeable update of the two. It occurred on March 20, 2012, one day after the client update. The update involved the removal as well as the relocation of several website features to the game client. Here is a brief list of the changes that were made:
- Please note that this list shouldn't be considered fully accurate as changes can still occur.
- Community tab: Was previously a separate tab containing recent forum threads and news article. Immediately after the update, the tab was removed and the recent forum threads box was moved to the homepage. A few days after the update, the Community tab was reinstated and the forum threads box was moved back to the tab.
- Social media integration: Even before the update, Habbo has started to incorporate social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter (see below), and YouTube, to expand their involvement with the community. Many updates and other news are published via these sites.
- Twitter feed: Habbo has introduced a live Twitter feed which shows recent tweets from staff members from Habbo's Twitter account. It is located on the homepage, the Community page, and the client.
- Removal of news articles: News articles has been removed and with the introduction of the Twitter feed, news articles are now published by tweets. More recent news and ongoing promotions appear on the homepage as a slideshow.
- Minimail: Previously located on the homepage, the minimail has been moved to the client taskbar in the Me icon. This move has been one of the main frustrations and causes of criticism.
- Username and tag search: The ability to search for other players and tags has been removed from the homepage. However, username search can be still found in the console on the client.
- Removal of "My Friends/Groups/Rooms" drop-down lists: The "My Friends", "My Groups", and "My Rooms" lists were removed from the homepage. It was previously located at the top of the page.
- Removal of guestbook and forum notifications: Upon login, players were notified of any new messages/posts in their guestbook or group forums. These notifications has been removed and now must be checked manually.
The main aspect of the client update consists of a new hotel view, which is often changed for promotional events. Despite the new look of the hotel view, the client itself has not been changed much. Many old features, such as the taskbar and navigator is still there and the only noticeable changes are the hotel view image, Twitter feed, and an additional taskbar icon shaped like an H that allows players to leave the current room.
Community opposition and criticism
Due to the extreme changes it brings, the updates has been heavily criticized by the majority of the Habbo community, with most players opposing against it. Many feel the changes were too drastic and weren't asked for, seeing as there wasn't any previous notice or news article about it. Others feel the removal of several website features and integrating them into the client has made the game too inconvenient. For example, users that want to check their minimail on their cell phones can't anymore since the minimail is located in the client and many mobile web browsers don't support Flash.
The forums on The Habbo Research Group, a Habbo.com group, has been designed by Yurre to allow players to provide feedback and opinions on the updates. Many threads have been made to voice opinions. However, many players have speculated that Habbo's involvement with the community has been slowly deteriorating and that staff members ignore players' feedback, especially negative.
One of the main points of opposition is Habbo's use of Twitter for publishing news and updates. Since the news articles section has been removed from the homepage, Habbo now relies on Twitter and other social media to release news. Many players have been against this, claiming users that don't have a Twitter account or refuse to use one have no way of reading news articles.
Yurre, who is one of the people in charge of research, has responded to many of the feedback provided. Polls have been released to survey players about the changes.
Habbo's UserVoice forum has opened again to allow players to further express their opinions.