“For the first time ever in a single day we had 500M people use Facebook.” – Mark ZuckerbergBack in July the rage was Google Plus. Lots of us couldn’t get enough of it. Great engagement, interesting platform with high expectations, and the Google name. It was a social network that was going places. In fact it had a lot of us wondering whether Facebook was the next MySpace. Last Friday, Facebook answered with a flash grenade and caused minor ripples with their new subscriptions model. The talk was that it was a way to incorporate Twitter into Facebook. Its purpose is to give us peons a way to follow celebrities on Facebook without that whole friending thing. Overall it is a neat enhancement to the Facebook platform.
On Wednesday, Facebook fired a rocket launcher at its users. Gone is the news feed sorted by the most recent posts. Instead this newspaper, as Facebook likes to call it, shows you the top stories told since the last time you logged in. It’s a way to catch up on what you missed. Problem with it is the world hates it.
The major uproar over it all has been hilarious. To make matters worse for those users, a news ticker, which shows you all of your friends’ most recent activity, is now prominently displayed on the right hand side of your page. By late in the afternoon on Wednesday there was already a chrome extension, which would block the ticker, pictures slamming Facebook went viral, and blog posts calling Mark Zuckerberg lots of nasty names were everywhere.
Then came F8. (and I don’t mean the function key)
On Thursday at F8, Facebook dropped an atom bomb. Once Andy Samberg walked off the stage after delivering an 8 minute awkward mess (this is why members of the nerd herd should NOT write comedy), Zuckerberg gave his keynote and announced Timeline. Facebook Timeline is your profile page on steroids and represents one of the biggest changes that Facebook has ever done. Conceptually it’s brilliant. It lets you tell your story, through your posts, pictures, friends, comments, likes all the way back to your actual date of birth. Everyone has things that make you unique. Timeline helps you tell your story, your way, using everything you’ve ever put on Facebook. It’s a full profile overhaul and must be experienced to believe it:
Facebook came out today and reminded everyone that this platform is about YOU. Who you are as an individual is much more important than numbers on a line chart. Your comments, pictures, engagements and relationships can now encapsulate you to others like never before. It’s about sharing who you are with the world, if you’ll let it.
I’m setting down the cold glass of Facebook Koolaid now though and asking you… “Are all of these changes to Facebook innovation or annoying?” The comments below are all yours.