Facebook announces ‘Timeline’, redefines the social media experience

September 22nd, 2011 by Colette Bennett

 

This past Wednesday, Facebook rolled out a couple of new updates such as a ticker in the top right hand corner of the site showing live activity and a tab that allows you to control what gets shown in your top stories. As the internet is known to do on occasion, people flipped out, complaining about how much they hated the new changes. Someecards summed it up best in their e-cards on the subject (and those guys are always on top of the game, by the way), but the complainers had no idea just how much change they were going to have to cope with … and what was to come.

This morning, Mashable posted a teasing article talking about the “new” Facebook, which was slated to be unveiled today at the F8 developers conference. The author of the blog said, “I have seen what Facebook is launching on Thursday, and it’s going to change the world of social media. And while I won’t talk about the mind-boggling things Facebook will be launching, I will say this: The Facebook you know and (don’t) love will be forever transformed.”

Whether or not you agree with him is a matter of personal preference, but one thing is for sure: Facebook is going to be very different. The new format is called Timeline, and Mark Zuckerberg explained the thought process behind it as a way to stop losing the timeline of our lives in the social media format that scrolls past us on a day-to-day basis with no way to really accurately access the history. By adding the ability to click a year on the far right of your profile, you can easily go back to the past and see everything from photos to memorable moments. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

By starring certain things you post, like a set of photos from a trip or an update, you can full screen them, contributing to a new profile page that’s reminiscent of the layout of the iPad app Flipboard. Apps are also highlighted on the profile, showing off everything from the movies you watch (directly pulled from your Netflix) and the music you play obsessively (culled from your Spotify account). Other companies such as IMDb, Flixster, DirecTV and Miso were also mentioned as partners, so you don’t have to feel left out no matter what you use.

A search of the Facebook tag on Twitter shows that the haters are still at work, but I have a feeling that it’ll be harder to complain about a new user experience that is as innovative and interesting as this one. If anything, Facebook has shown that they don’t intend to fall into the graveyard that myspace and Friendster ended up in — because they are determined to evolve. Will users to choose to evolve with it? We’ll see soon enough.