Just recently Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s new Timeline profile pages at the F8 event. Today we’re taking a first look at the new features of these Timeline profile pages, and boy will your profile change. I can already hear the incessant whining of people who are too lazy or unable to learn the new system. Just imagine the hundreds of fan pages that go viral and get thousands of likes crying to go back to the earlier profile pages.
Now, let’s take a look shall we.
The goal of this new profile page setup is to create a Facebook experience where one can go on the profile of the friend and go back and see what they did today, yesterday, last month and back when they signed up to Facebook. It’s a moving collage of photos, videos, status updates, new friends that give you a clear picture of someone’s life and personality.
I had the chance to try out Timeline already by a method I found on Mashable.com. The following is my first impression of the new feature, paired with a couple of screenshots.
Alright, let’s talk design and look first. The interface looks amazing and is appealing to the eye. The cover photo option gives an extra dimension to the whole and another opportunity to personalize your timeline. It will take some time to get used to the new lay-out, even for Facebook savvy people. Once you get used to it though it gets really easy to navigate, I might even go as far as saying that it’s easier than before. Obviously a lot of thought was put into this.
The system runs smoothly with a couple of hiccups here and there but that’s to be expected as it’s a developer preview, and not the actual system to be released on 30 September. The only beef I have with it is that you can’t choose specific points on your timeline to watch, in much the same way as scrolling down your news feed for a while.
The new photo page is pretty nice as well, moving your photos closer together and more easily accessible and arranged by date.
The Timeline itself a wonderful new feature, but it can be a bit confusing to find specific dates or posts. It’s a really powerful way to get to know your friends and I imagine it’ll be quite the recruitment tool as well. It’s an in-depth glimpse into someone’s life. For the Facebook users of the first hour, however, the Timeline won’t be as complete as new members who have a much more complete profile than us already. So it’s more catered towards the newer members.
Next to that, it’s pretty time consuming if you want to sort it out properly and delete and/or hide certain posts that have no meaning or relevance whatsoever. I’d advise you to sort through ALL your posts to avoid any awkward situations (I look forward to seeing plenty of those on lamebook.com).
There’s also a new box for updating your status that I’d like to say a few words about. The publishing box has been made more versatile. On top of adding your status update you can know also add a job, milestones, health, relationships, education, family and living. You can now tell your friends EVERYTHING you do or experience, no idea why anyone would care if I broke a nail though.
In summary, the new Facebook Timeline is a neat and pretty feature that will help personalize your profile, together with apps that will be playing a more important role in the future. I do think there is some things that can be done to make it better though, such as making it easier to go back to certain dates and getting rid of all the social game posts. This will help to lower the time spent on getting your Timeline trimmed to your liking. Again, be wary of awkward situations as a result of poorly chosen status updates from times past.
Users will no doubt spend a lot of time on each other’s Timelines and I have no doubt that it will be a new way to kill time in class. Rejoice!
Check out this introduction video to Facebook’s Timeline.
PS: I know the screenshots are in Dutch, because I am from Belgium and I was too lazy to change it. Also, blurred the faces with my awesome Paint skills.