A few days ago I logged on to Facebook only to find a newsfeed flooded with complaints…this could only mean one thing- Facebook has changed once again. I’m not sure why everyone always freaks out about the changes. To be honest, I can’t even remember what it used to look like back in the day.
Even though Facebook is one of the biggest social networks out there right now, it’s still learning from other social networks and making adjustments in order to keep up with everyone else, and they should. These changes that everyone is grumbling about are necessary to keep people on the network, and I think they will.
One of the most obvious changes is the live newsfeed feature. Stalking has never been so easy. Now you can see when your friend likes a picture, comments on someone’s wall, or makes a new friend the SECOND it happens.
And I hate to break it to you, but Facebook will be changing again in a few weeks, but don’t scoff just yet. They’re changing the game up completely with their Timeline user profile. This is going to organize your Facebook history into a sort of scrapbook including past profile statuses, pictures, relationship status changes, and there’s going to be a map that shows everywhere you’ve been via “Facebook Places.” They’ll even have a “Way Back” section to add things that happened before Facebook. Think of it as an infographics of your life. This could be a little scary…
The Facebook team explained their thinking behind this change, saying “Back in the early days of Facebook, your profile was pretty basic – just your name, a photo, where you went to school…stuff you’d cover in the first five minutes you met someone. Over time, your profile evolved to better reflect how you actually communicate with your friends. The way your profile works today, 99% of the stories you share vanish. The only way to find the posts that matter is to click “Older Posts” at the bottom of the page. Again. And again. With timeline, now you have a home for all the great stories you’ve already shared. They don’t just vanish as you add new stuff.”
Be prepared for a much more visual profile. The cover photo will be much bigger, and you’ll also be able to star your favorite photos, making them twice their original size. Don’t want something to be seen more than something else? You can hide stories, pictures, etc, switching the emphasis onto other stories. The changes will also allow you to see who has unfriended you and when, even if it happened a few years ago.
Apps are going to be what powers this new digital expression. Through an Open Graph, users will be able to share with friends what they’re watching, cooking, reading, other websites, and anything else you’re doing. Sharing the information will be left up to you. The people at Facebook hopes these apps will not only help you express yourself, but to be integrated into your social graph.
Creator Mark Zuckerberg believes “in a social world, we live and thrive at the intersection of technology and sociology.” Zuckerberg and the rest of the Facebook team hope that Timeline will help people find a way to express themselves to their friends and vice versa in an organized, magazine-like template for storytelling. They want it to be a reflection of who you are, what you’ve done, and where you’ve been through meaningful interactions with one another.
And I haven’t even scratched the surface of what features Timeline will have and the possibilities behind it. The real potential won’t be discovered until people start interacting with one another, building up their Timeline, and telling their story in their own personal social platform.
The release date has not been specifically stated. Facebook has only said it will be up and running in a few weeks. They’re also allowing everyone to choose to look over their timelines first before being published to make sure everyone is happy with what will be shown.
So log on to Facebook and enjoy your profile while you still can, because change is coming, and it’s going to redefine everything Facebook has previously been.