Only a few convenient days after the Facebook IPO did a belly flop, Facebook finally reacts to timeline complaints. Well…sort of. Facebook has begun testing a new version of Timeline on select user profiles. But don’t get too excited — the changes probably aren’t what you were hoping for.
The main change proposed by Facebook? Moving your basic info up so that it overlaps your Timeline image.
Among the other changes are:
- “Summary” tab which displays all major life events
- “Like” tab relabeled as “Favorites”
- “Friends”, “Photos” etc tabs switched to a menu bar under the Timeline photo
While I personally have no problem with the existing Timeline, and these may be neat-o effects, they don’t actually answer the calls for change that millions of users have been announcing both online and off. In fact, some of the proposed changes may be more headache in the long run. For example — the font of the overlapping details will always be white. If you want to use a cover photo that is light your info may blend right in; limiting what you can effectively use as your photo. Then there’s the fact that they’ve made no comment about changing the Timeline itself — which is the biggest problem most users have. It’s almost as if the team said, “Hey…I’m bored.”…”Well we could address some of the Timeline requests.”….”Nah….let’s just move stuff around.”
It seems as if Facebook just doesn’t ‘get’ what their users want. While these changes are not confirmed and Facebook has said they are not sure how many profiles will be tested – or if the changes will even be offered site wide – it still stands as a testament that if you ask for an apple they are going to give you an orange. It’s like complaining that your steak is too rare and the chef pours steak sauce on it as a way to correct the problem. “But it’s free. If you don’t like it – don’t use it”. I hear you. And I would have agreed…until Friday. Now that Facebook is a publicly traded company I think people will be more interested in how users react to changes made on the site and how it affects their usage. Satisfaction, in theory, should now be more important to investors. But, will it matter?
What do you think of the new developments from the Facebook think tank? Does this improve your view of Timeline?
[Image credit: Carl Franzen]