Facebook Timeline: To Hate or Not to Hate

I'm impressed at how Facebook (FB) is 'sneaking' it's new timeline feature on us. With minimal advertisement the new template is spreading to 'hapless' users like wildfire. 'Unfortunately', the change is permanent (you might have to delete your whole FB account to undo the change).

I've used the inverted commas above because...well...this time at least, I think FB made the right move. The timeline feature is actually a vast improvement. One that FB might not even have the incentive to implement, save a desire to please its users (and...em...compete better against Google+).

I remember screaming bloody murder when FB first implemented their 'new' way of viewing photos. You clicked on the thumbnail, and instead of being taken to the photo in its album location, you got a temporary black background with the photo hovering over it. I hated the black background because I couldn't see anything else but the photo...no way to easily navigate away. FB replaced the black background with a transparent one and the opportunity to click outside the image to exactly where you were prior to clicking on the thumbnail. Suddenly the whole concept made sense. Formerly, clicking on the thumbnail would have taken you away from the page you were viewing and returning to that page meant you had to start from the beginning. You would have to scroll down like a maniac in order to get back to the post you had stopped at.

Fast forward to the introduction of the timeline feature. One advantage I already see is the fact that I can use the timeline to zoom in on the posts I made when I joined FB. Meaning I can chart my progress from the day I joined to the present. Since I'm (hopefully) more mature now, I can delete some of the potentially embarrassing comments I'd made (if FB allows me). Prior to the timeline feature, I would have had to scroll like a hundred maniacs in order to see my first post. In fact, the timeline feature is the solution to the last FB problem I blogged about. If they applied the timeline feature to groups and pages, important discussions can be easily located as long as someone vaguely remembers the date the discussion took place.

Most of our qualms with the way FB implements changes is the way they rearrange our real estate. Suddenly there's no info button and you have to go elsewhere for that. However, once we get used to the new arrangement, we wonder how we lived without it.

I, for one, can't imagine how I lived with the former way of viewing images.

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