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With the generally praised (yet utterly redundant) Google+ finally open to the public, Facebook has been on the move to unveil i's next wave of updates. This past week we've seen a live-stream news feed, sidebar ticker update, and countless revamps of the photo sharing system hit everyone's favorite social networking platform. Even with all these design updates, people seemed to still be up in arms over yet another Facebook design change.
Maybe I'm missing something, is there a payed version of Facebook? Because if people were actually paying for the services provided by Mark Zuckerberg then I might understand the outrage. However, sources close to me suggest that there is no such thing as a Facebook VIP account. So, in fact, we are not owed anything from Facebook and they can do as they please with their website and we in turn can choose not to use it. Viva La' Revolution!
Though, as it tuns out, the design changes that recently overtook Facebook are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the future the company has planned for the site. Today, Facebook held its yearly F8 developers conference and announced the next step in its social networking dictatorship. Mark Zuckerberg took the stage to announce "Timeline". In his own words...
"If the original profile was the first five minutes of your conversation, and the stream is the next 15, then what I want to show you today is the rest. (The Timeline is) the story of your life…a new way to express who you are."
Timeline is Facebook's new layout for user profiles. The new layout will work like a storybook of your life. The biggest problem with the social networking of the past was how to access the mountains of information you've shared online throughout the years. Timeline aims to solve this problem by giving you easy access to all the stories, statuses, photos, and links you've ever shared on Facebook since the beginning. In addition, Timeline allows Facebook users to highlight major events in their lives and display them for anyone too see. You can even go back in time and add major events to past areas in your timeline. It's the truest form of personal sharing to ever enter the social networking platform.
In addition, the new Facebook page is built to share the entire online experience with your friends. The best way to do this is to include App integration to a person's profile. With the Timeline design, you can tether Apps to your profile and the things you do within them will self-integrate onto your Facebook automatically. So now you can watch a movie off Netflix with friends in real-time over Facebook. Or, you can play music with your friends while you video chat in completely opposite places of the world. The possibilities of App integration are endless. A better way to imagine it is to think of a Widget on a Tumblr or blog. These things are now available to use on a Facebook profile, making the experience of sharing the parts of your life all the more easy.
The final profile change coming to Facebook via Timeline is the gigantic "cover photo". To me, this makes the correlation definite; the new Facebook is basically like the magazine of your life. This idea takes social networking to a whole new level. You can now know (within reason) an entire person's life from the moment you meet them. Some people may find this redesign creepy, as it makes the sharing of personal information easy and inviting. Since I'm a child of the digital era, this kind of expressionism online is remarkable and fantastic. The best part? You can start signing up for Facebook Timeline now and they'll be rolling out the updates over the next few weeks.
After this week a lot of people were thinking about leaving Facebook for good. I think the new Timeline profile will return the social network to its former glory. Facebook will now become the "hub" of the internet, a place where you go to be with friends when they're not available in person. Home sweet home, indeed.
Unless they forgot to add a "dislike" button...
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