‘Timeline’ not popular for users

October 14, 2011 Review Print Print
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With recent changes to the layout and appearance of Facebook, the empire of creator Mark Zuckerberg has upset many users. That, however, does not prevent the company from rolling out new features to the website at the whim of their CEO.

One such feature open beta for developers is “Timeline.”

Timeline, according to Facebook’s blog, is trying to be a “digital scrapbook for your life,” and will replace your profile if you opt-in once it rolls out.

This feature may be frightening for some because it takes things that already exist online and orders them all in one place, in chronological order of when they happened. These things are all of the activities related to a user, every “Like,” every game, every app, every post, every picture added and every picture tagged in order.

That’s not all. The starting place for users’ timelines is not each user’s join date, that the day of that user’s birth.

Now, I was born before the Internet became more than a collection of military and university computers talking over phone lines, so when I saw this I clicked between my birth and join date and discovered a function I might have missed. Timeline allows you to add events to it that occurred when Facebook wasn’t around to catch it.

Excuse me while I run off to put on a tin foil hat. So now we have an all-pervasive “big brother” we willingly report to, that allows us, or anyone really, to fill in details that existed before it did. We also can have a one-stop spot for a report of our complete personal history. Is this a good thing?

I digress. Technically, in my testing, I have not had any problems with the feature. From a design perspective it is cleanly laid out, easy to navigate and more appealing to the eye than anything Facebook has designed thus far.

Aside from the things that make my inner conspiracy nut stand up, my only problem with the feature is it is not out for the general public yet.

One reason for the delay is, according to Tech Crunch’s website, Facebook is being sued by www.timelines.com which says the new feature would “completely kill” its business.

So, all-in-all, this is a creepy feature that is so darned beautiful it begs to be used, but is being held up in litigation.

Rating: C

To contact Mike Wormley, email communitywriter@occc.edu.

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