Facebook to force Timeline. A step too far?

This is about the recent switch to the current Facebook format to the new Timeline format. The main difference is that the Timeline makes it much easier to access posts/pictures from all previous years, whereas now if you wanted to access that data, you have to keep clicking “Older Posts” which most people don’t bother with.

Do you think this is a step in the wrong direction?

Personally, I dislike Timeline immensely. I feel like I’m always waging war against Facebook’s privacy settings, which is constantly revamping itself and forcing me to start putting things on tighter and tighter lockdowns (only to find that much of the time the settings don’t work as intended).

But now, it’ll be much easier for people to stalk information by simply digging up past dirt at the click of a button… that is, if you haven’t already taken the time to go back through your entire Facebook page to handle every single thing that’s been posted.

What do you think?

This is truly the greatest of Great Debates.

Well, it’s more geared towards the themes of privacy and control in general and what’s considered acceptable.

Do you know how many people can keep a secret?

I think it’s creepy as shit. I’m constantly “whitewalling” (deleting posts as they get old) so when I finally am forced to use the Timeline it’s going to be pretty boring. Plus I find it makes your page too “busy” and it hurts my eyes.

I’m not thrilled about the new format, but I had always assumed that ultimately everyone would get forced into changing. That’s how Facebook rolls.

I’m not sure I understand the outrage here. YOU control what personal information Facebook has. You give them info, and then they use it. What are you expecting to happen?

One of the things I’ve always liked most about Facebook was its nice, clean design. This new design looks like its aping, of all things, MySpace. I’m especially put off by the “butterfly ballot”-style layout of the status updates.

The outrage is in the fact that, for years, it worked one way, and now, all of the sudden, it’s going to work another way. Facebook changed the terms of the agreement, and now people have to do a lot more work to keep things the way they were.

But, for me, this is mitigated by how dadblasted difficult Timeline is to use. With two columns, there’s no order to anything. Application crap takes up most of your wall. I went to someone’s wall to find a comment I had just got through seeing come up in my feed, and I couldn’t find it until I actually used CTRL-F. Just to read something someone just got through saying.

And Zuckerberg is deluding himself if he thinks very many people are going to go back in their timeline and fill in the blanks. And that’s the only real function timeline has: getting even more information out of people to sell to the advertisers. He’s completely missed that people are starting to get more and more fed up with sharing too much. He caught one favorable wind and is going to ride it until the end.

I mean, think about it. He keeps saying that the general direction people are going is towards more sharing–so why the heck is he having to keep on forcing changes to get people to share more? It makes me more and more sure that people who get rich on an idea are mostly there because of luck, not some great ability to understand what people want.

I’ve never been a fan of Facebook, partially because of the fact that my friends on there (most of whom I knew in high school, and haven’t talked to since then) are, for one reason or another, not people I really want to talk to. That aside, I came across this blog by Douglas Rushkoff, in which he lays it on the line:

That may be a cynical way to look at it, but I think it’s accurate. I feel like I’m being used by Zuckerberg and FB. Of course, you could say the same thing about any media–TV has advertisers, and we watch the ads; same with magazines (print or online). Speaking for myself though, I get entertainment and/or education from TV, which I don’t get from FB. But I feel that FB is going farther than TV is, and possibly farther than most of the rest of the web.

To me it seems like an obviously self-serving move (which is to be expected in business). Most people dislike Timeline and find it hugely disorganized, as it makes things harder to read and harder to keep managed, all the while exposing years worth of information for all to see.

I don’t honestly care about having certain bits of Facebook information sold to advertisers as long as my privacy/security isn’t infringed upon. What bothers me is that Facebook makes it easier and easier and easier for other users to access your info, and that’s what bothers me.

I’m all for the notion of sharing, but there is a difference between sharing and being exposed. I want to be able to easily choose who sees what, but there is no easy way to do that, especially when privacy controls don’t allow the functionality, don’t do what you want, are confusing to handle, or fail to actually work in the first place.

It just feels like my ability to keep a certain degree of privacy on my own Facebook page keeps getting encroached upon. I’m seriously considering sticking with Google+.

A lot of the people on my feed seem to like Timeline, actually. I don’t in the slightest, because I find it disorganized and annoying, but apparently a lot of people like it because it puts a pretty picture at the top of your profile page.

I find the Timeline format very hard to read, too busy. I suspect this is going to cut down on my Facebook time.

I see the announcement about “Timeline” on the opening page, but when I log in it still looks the same as always to me. What am I missing? Whatever it is, I hope that I can continue to miss it.

Facebook is starting to look like MySpace, which is pissing me off, because the exact reason I went to Facebook was because it didn’t have the visual clutter of MySpace and everything was cleanly and consistently laid out. Now it seems like they keep changing and moving stuff around every six months, and with the new personalized banners and ugly timeline interface, it’s become a cacophonous visual mess. Ugh. Plus you have some users (like me) who aren’t using the banners and timeline, and you have other users that are, so depending on whose page you’re looking at, the information is in different places. So, I could understand why Facebook might want to standardize it, but, damn, the new look is fugly. If you must do this, offer a “Facebook classic” option so users who don’t want to see this crap don’t have to. Then again, I’m not a fan of giving users too many options.

I enjoy the new Timeline layout. I switched over when they had it in beta several months ago and haven’t had any complaints. It makes it a lot easier for me to find old posts of mine, or others.

I’m not really sure how timeline makes it easier to see earlier pictures. There’s always been a prominent “pictures” link that pulls up all the pictures a person is tagged in.

Agree that its sort of a mess though, and I have trouble believing Facebook would force it on people. One of the reasons they overcame Myspace was because Facebook had a relatively clean interface.

Certainly some people like timeline, and so making it an option makes sense, but I think they’ll lose a non-trivial number of customers if they force it on people.

I can’t make heads or tails of my friend’s profiles who have already switched/been switched. So I don’t use them. I do use the News Feed, or whatever they’re calling it these days, and the Message and Chat, sometimes. Are those going to be similarly oversaturated visually when the switch to Timeline becomes complete?

Ditto. I hate the new format.

I already spend less than 30 minutes per month doing anything with Facebook. This pretty much ensures that I will cut that back to 10 minutes per month or just stop using it entirely.

message and chat have been merged, which I find obnoxious because I liked to use them for slightly different purposes. Chat is more like an ongoing conversation, whereas messages served as a discrete exchange to arrange something. Now when you message someone you immediately see everything that preceded.