Facebook’s new Timeline “upgrade” has been in the works for months now, though users have been able to opt in or continue using the current version if they so desire. However, within a few weeks, everyone will be switched over to the new format whether they like it or not.
Timeline is one of Facebook’s biggest changes yet, both aesthetically and functionally. Its most noticeable feature is the large banner at the top of the page, which is an area where you can upload any photo that fits your profile (providing you have the rights). While some may view it as pleasing to the eye, it is quite massive and takes up a lot of real estate. Other changes include the ability to add events to your timeline throughout history, so you aren’t limited to posting updates in order anymore. This is helpful for those who want to add baby photos, important dates from before they joined Facebook and those who want their entire recorded history on the internet.
The changes became available as an opt-in feature in mid-December 2011, and users could test out their new profiles for up to a week before displaying it publicly. Naturally this was met with mixed reactions, with many users expressing their gratitude at the “optional” part of the upgrade. However, Facebook’s blog says that within “the next few weeks,” every one of Facebook’s 800 million users will be using the new Timeline. This will no doubt encourage the creation of many new Facebook groups that claim the social media site will change back if they get a certain amount of users, since those have worked so well in the past.
Despite the negative reactions already out there and more sure to come, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is confident that it will work well, and give users a chance to show more about who they really are.
“We want to design a place that feels like your home. Where you tell story online is very personal. You spend a lot of time curating it. We want to make timeline a place you’re proud to call your home. It’s a completely new aesthetic for Facebook. It gives you the ability to curate all your stories so you can express who you really are.”
For some, this will be a success. It gives many more user options and a chance to spice up your profile like never before. However, for those who have enjoyed Facebook for a refuge of simplicity against previous competitors like the glittery and music-filled MySpace, it may not go over well at all.