Browsing my home feed I am currently picking up on a lot of hostility directed at Facebook’s new timeline feature. People don’t like change, and this seems particularly true when it comes to poor old Facebook. Every time they’ve made any slight alteration to the appearance or function of Facebook it’s been met with animosity and indifference, before eventually being accepted.
The new timeline is no different, and though the general feel of Facebook has remained largely unchanged since its creation – moreso than many other businesses, people are once again making a lot of noise. But are people just being set in their ways? Is this a bad move from Facebook that people have a right to be weary of, or does it actually have a lot of positives? Let’s have a look at some of the reasons to love Facebook’s new timeline.
The Cover Picture: One of the most striking visual differences with the Timeline is the ability to have a cover picture as well as a profile picture. This allows you to have a large high-def picture at the top of your page like a banner or a title with your profile image just in front of it. This can make your Facebook page much more personalized looking and more dynamic, and it means you can add some very different kinds of images – with people now using general patterns and colors as well as images of landscapes rather than only pictures of themselves.
Scrolling into the Past: The other thing that having a timeline enables you to do is to scroll down your page and to just…keep going while viewing the highlights (according to Facebook) that occurred over those months and years. This can really give you a much fuller picture of the way your life has developed over that time and present a kind of narrative for it which is fun to keep looking through.
Tagging in the Past: And meanwhile, with the Timeline in place it’s now possible as well to tag old pictures with the date and have them appear in the relevant part of our timeline. This means that if you come across some old pictures that you want to share, there’s now a way to integrate those into your timeline in a logical manner – which means that Facebook pages no longer need to appear as though life didn’t exist five years ago and allows you to really make your page into a summary of your life.
Ultimately though it’s important to recognize that it’s Facebook’s prerogative to make any changes they see fit to their services. Many of the complaints on the home feed are written in an angry tone – as though Facebook has breached some kind of contract – but chances are these would have come no matter what the changes Facebook made. Like any business Facebook needs to develop and adapt in order to stay relevant and to stay competitive, and when they had such huge amounts of data on their servers it was no doubt becoming paramount that they found a way to condense that.
In other words Facebook provide a service for free, and it’s up to us whether we use it or not. Of course you’re entitled to your opinion, but don’t have a hissy fit every time Facebook make a tweak – especially one that adds value if you’re being completely objective.
The author, Fernando, is an active Facebook user for a long time now. He talks vividly about the new Facebook timeline and says that facebook covers are the most interesting and creative features till now.
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