Facebook launched yet another “update” in late January after a short trial period where early adopters could voluntarily change to the new profile type. The new profile is very different, very photo-oriented and is supposed to chronicle your life. It is called “Timeline” and well, I don’t like it. I will be the first to admit that any new feature, layout or adjustment to Facebook takes some getting used to. You have to find things you used to be able to click on with your eyes closed. You have to relearn shortcuts and ways to manage any business pages you work with. And you usually have to readjust your privacy settings.
Since I am fully aware that some of my dislike for Timeline is solely based on the fact that I haven’t learned it yet, let me instead give you a few other reasons why I wish Facebook would have left our profiles alone.
Reason #1: There’s practically nothing “above the fold.” Hasn’t Facebook heard of this age-old newspaper term? In the newspaper business, designers and reporters live and breathe by what is above the fold on the front page of a paper. In the Internet business, designers consider anything you have to scroll down to see worthless, except for SEO purposes. The new Facebook Timeline requires so much scrolling you could wear out your mouse and this is partially to blame for the ginormous photo they call the “Cover Photo”. That leads me to the next reason.
Reason #2: The cover photo. What the heck? How many people really have a high-quality, horizontally framed, flattering photo they want showcased to every person who visits their Facebook profile? Um, I’d wager that not many do. Having that huge picture there doesn’t help people get to know you, it’s just a giant profile picture and another thing you have to update. Plus, it gives those obnoxious Facebook users (featured in a post on ChicTech last week) a chance to post an even larger and more prominent photo of their cat.
Reason #3: It is leaving businesses guessing. There has been a lot of debate and speculation as to whether or not Facebook will push Timeline to business pages. That leaves some businesses guessing and other businesses preemptively creating strategies to adopt the new layout. While I have to admit that a Timeline of a business’s history could be really interesting and a great marketing tool, it will be painful for many businesses to adapt to the photo-heavy layout and emphasis on the past.
Reason #4: If it ain’t broke… You can see where I’m going with this. The previous profile layout was fine! It made some nice improvements over the layout that launched the year before and has been a great success doing everything Facebook intended it to do. This change was quite simply unnecessary and they were “improving” something that really didn’t need improvement.
Reason #5: The newsfeed. No, there haven’t been any changes to the newsfeed, but as Facebook users start to build out their Timeline, all of those changes are showing up in the newsfeed of their friends. Baby pictures, birthdays, college party photos, middle school dances. All of it is being pushed to the newsfeed of their thousand closest friends while they work to update their Timeline.
I’m/we are avid social media users. Chances are that we will warm up, suck it up and figure out the Facebook Timeline. But in the meantime, we are going to hold off and enjoy the old profile for as long as Facebook lets us change it. As we know how hard it is to change and the only person who really wants change is a baby who wants their diaper changed now! Or if you really want change, get up and go outside and sit on your porch, take a walk in the park or on the beach and meditate as to why Facebook isn’t all that important to really anyone and most of us had interesting lives before it was here.