Since its inception, Facebook has gotten in the habit of making nuanced changes in the way the site operates for users. Typically, users notice adjustments to the homepage where statuses and images are posted. Most recently, Facebook has combined the sections “top stories” and “recent stories,” putting them all in one place. The social network has also added a real-time news feed that offers a summary instead of a detailed account of friends actions. The changes, though small, are usually met with disdain.
“The changes are so stupid,” said Brianna Isbell, first-year fashion design student. “I don’t know why they want to change anything, especially when Facebook was doing fine without it.” Isbell isn’t the only one who shares this view point. Since the new homepage went live, the complaints have been never-ending.
Like the newer social networking site, Google+, Facebook has adapted the practice of lumping cyber friends into categories to optimize control of content sharing and privacy. “I think it’s really interesting that on the same day Google+ went live for everyone, Facebook rolled out their new changes,” said Edanette Marquez, third-year graphic design student.
There are undoubtedly similarities between the social-networking giant and the search engine’s new project. What is exclusive to Facebook is the ability to leave messages on a person’s “wall” and creating events to invite friends to in the real world. What Google+ has exclusively is the “Sparks” sections that highlight different interests ranging from sports and cooking to fashion.
With all the small changes happening on Facebook, there is still one change that hasn’t been made. Facebook’s response to the growing popularity of the younger Google+ is set to release tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 30. The change has been named Timeline. Timeline is a completely restructured profile and works as it sounds — as a timeline. The new profile will document and highlight important life events and accompany them with photos that have already been uploaded. Not only that, but the newest profiles will connect to the new music streaming application Spotify, as well as Netflix and Hulu. The idea is that “friends” will be able to enjoy the same content simultaneously. As far as social networking goes, there has never been anything like this format.
Timeline is available now for anyone with a developer account to preview and explore before it goes live worldwide. The question is, what kind of reception will it receive?
“I think people are really going to like it,” said Eric Anderson, third-year visual effects student. While one student laments about the major change, another one cringes in fear.
“It freaks me out,” says Victory Bagger, first-year photography student. “It’s creepy that so much content is exposed.”