Introducing Timeline – A New Kind Of Problem

(Written for The National Student)

What until now has been voluntary, the new profile design for Facebook was launched on December 22nd 2011, giving users the option to change their existing layout. A move that sees the old Wall format of the site redesigned into a timeline of a user’s life through the eyes of Facebook, this next stage in the popular social networking site comes after Zuckerberg claimed users wanted to share their entire lives with each other.

Organised by years and months Timeline is designed to make social networking easier, yet has not received the positive first impressions Zuckerberg was hoping for. Unlike the previous scroll mechanism, Timeline details every part of your Facebook activity, placing the friends you added and the pages you liked all into one yearly archive, sub categorised under monthly sections.  Although an interesting concept, since the change, users have bombarded internet forums with complaints, all sharing their own experiences with Timeline.

Facebook user Gina Farley said: “If Facebook wants to change things then they should offer a choice – add a ‘switch’ button so we can swap between the different layouts and have the ones that best suit us. Personally you should have stuck with the first layout, if it’s not broken don’t try to fix it!”

Shelly Gorys added: “It’s too messy, too busy and frankly – horrible! I don’t like it and don’t like the thought that I don’t have a choice.”

This latest change to Facebook will allow people to easily access their friends’ status updates and photographs, in a far more visual way, yet users have also hit back at the change complaining about how much of their information Facebook will make accessible to the public.  

I’m really annoyed that I cannot control the privacy settings of my profile. I’d love to have a photo of my three beautiful children as the cover photo, but there is no way to control who can see it, so I’m stuck with a photo of a tiger,” another user commented.   

The controversy comes as no surprise to Zuckerburg and the Facebook team who, in the past, have been bombarded with complaints after significant changes to the site. However Facebook insists users should have no reasons to be concerned about their privacy, whilst claiming the majority of users are ‘happy’ with the latest format.

See Facebook Timeline in action below:

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One thought on “Introducing Timeline – A New Kind Of Problem

  1. I think the argument around the timeline is really stupid. Whatever is on someone’s Facebook wall is what they personally have published onto it. Therefore people cannot complain about what is visible because it is of their own doing. Nevertheless, it’s really easy to hide things from your wall, make it viewable to only your friends or, if you wish, only make it viewable for yourself.

    At the end of the day, if people don’t want others to know certain things about them, don’t put it online.

    Rant over 🙂

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