Facebook user don’t really like change it’s fair to say. Poor old Mark has a huge number of people to satisfy and keep happy with his various Facebook iterations, and it seems that every time he and his team suggest doing anything new it’s met with a huge amount of complaints and moaning.
Of course Facebook needs to change though, and if it stayed exactly the same then we’d get bored and move over to more modern social networks. Without the changes Facebook has gone through we wouldn’t have a home feed, we wouldn’t have the ‘like’ button, and we wouldn’t have Farmville (okay, so perhaps we could do without the last one…).
So are the latest changes to Facebook another case of them innovating despite the controversy? Or are they mistakes?
Facebook And Recent Changes With The Social Network
Facebook New Timeline
Mark Zuckerberg made some rather lofty claims about the new timeline on Facebook and seemed to think it was going to change the way we stored information online and more allowing us to ‘chronicle our entire lives on the web’ and stuff. While some of these claims are definitely blowing smoke, I will go out on a limb and say that I actually quite like the new look and the new options.
Basically with Facebook Timeline you get a cover picture up the top, and you get the ability to scroll all the way down the page – so that you can go from the stuff that’s just happened in your life all the way down to the day you were born.
You can populate these early years by adding dates to photos – and it’s possible to do this retroactively so if you should have an old profile picture of you as a baby then you can put that down your timeline so that you have a picture of you tagged from when you were just 2 months old.
The timeline highlights what it (seemingly randomly) sees as the ‘high points’ of your life and that then means that you don’t have millions of pictures to scroll through to go back a few years. It makes for a fun trip down memory lane and means that you can show to people that you did have a life before Facebook. People love indulging themselves in pictures of themselves and information so this is sure to make Facebook just that bit more addictive. It does however to a degree make the posts people leave on your wall a little less noticeable and makes it a little less about communication. How you feel about that is up to you.
Facebook Cover Picture
The cover photo is actually a very nice touch allowing you to give your profile page more personality with a big panorama from your life, or with a picture that sums you up from the web. My only concern is that this is a little bit too ‘MySpace’ – I just don’t want Facebook to go any further with this customization which could result in pages that take 2 hours to load.
Facebook Top Friends
This is the bit I’m not so keen on. Basically top friends either allows you to choose some of your top friends to display, or it randomly displays them for you. Both options are fraught with difficulties as the first option seems to show the people whose pages you look at most often – meaning girlfriends can discover that their boyfriends look at pictures of their ex all the time. The latter option meanwhile forces you to choose who your favorite Facebook friends are – which can result in all kinds of awkward scenarios when other friends wonder why they haven’t been picked or when your chosen few decide not to reciprocate.