Potential Timeline Revamp Will Excite Customizers

Facebook PrivacyFacebook users in New Zealand, got a special treat this new year: a new look for their timelines. The Kiwis are a popular demographic for testing beta versions of Facebook’s developments. The reports of timeline’s revamp started in January when users started tweeting screenshots and blogging the new features. The second wave hit early this week, suggesting that the company is finding the new look successful.

The new timeline is market-savvy and more user-friendly. It gives some of the user freedom back that was taken away when the timeline feature fully integrated in January of 2012. A lot of users felt trapped within the layout and restricted with content. They liked the new features, but they didn’t like their lack of freedom in presenting it. The new version recognizes this problem and offers some solutions.

Here’s what the New Zealanders are reporting:

  • The new layout of the boxes on the timeline is basically flipped. The module boxes Facebook PrivacyFacebook users in New Zealand, got a special treat this new year: a new look for their timelines. The Kiwis are a popular demographic for testing beta versions of Facebook’s developments. The reports of timeline’s revamp started in January when users started tweeting screenshots and blogging the new features. The second wave hit early this week, suggesting that the company is finding the new look successful.

    The new timeline is market-savvy and more user-friendly. It gives some of the user freedom back that was taken away when the timeline feature fully integrated in January of 2012. A lot of users felt trapped within the layout and restricted with content. They liked the new features, but they didn’t like their lack of freedom in presenting it. The new version recognizes this problem and offers some solutions.

    Here’s what the New Zealanders are reporting:

    • The new layout of the boxes on the timeline is basically flipped. The module boxes that feature all status updates and shared content have moved to the right. On the left, users have a much-missed “about me” section that includes things like education, work, and friends (remember when we had two “friends” boxes? That was unnecessary). It’s a basic tidy-up that makes the content in each column on your profile page feel less arbitrary and more intentional.
    • There is even more importance given to uploaded content, shared links, and messages. However, these posts are featured differently on timeline’s layout. An uploaded picture or a link shared from a friend appears to have higher priority in the newsfeed, but you can tailor how it appears in your timeline. Like before, you can still “highlight” certain posts to make them appear more prominently to visitors. Bottom line: uploaded and shared content posts are more likely to be seen than status updates in the newsfeed. But, you can still give status updates priority on your timeline by highlighting them.
    • The user has more control over module boxes that were formerly static. Before the revamp hit, modules like “recent activity” and “likes” could not be rearranged or hidden on the timeline. However, Facebook users could move around modules that weren’t sponsored by Facebook (ex: YahooNews, Words With Friends). The new design gives the user greater freedom in layout design.
    • A new feature: a “like page” button on shared links. While before you could “like” a friend’s link, that action was not connected to the company that sponsored the link on Facebook. In other words, when I “like” an article on the Huffington Post that my friend shared, I’m not liking the Huffington Post on Facebook. I’m liking that my friend posted the article. The new “like” button is featured within the box of shared links and connects the user directly to the company’s Facebook page.

    The new “like page” feature is extremely attractive for online marketing and sales. It offers a huge advantage to Facebook, where companies can both track their target audience and experiment with marketing. Additionally, the feature will encourage page use among businesses who are looking to build community and relationships with their customers.

    The more fluid layout may not feel too dramatic, but it essentially challenges the governing theme behind the timeline itself. If you check your profile, you will see a literal line with chronological markers separating left and right columns. New Zealand’s users are saying that this visible skeleton is gone, but the sidebar with the life events has remained.

    No word if the layout will stick, Facebook has been eerily quiet about the whole thing. Even so, there haven’t been any visceral disagreements. We may have a new version timeline soon enough.that feature all status updates and shared content have moved to the right. On the left, users have a much-missed “about me” section that includes things like education, work, and friends (remember when we had two “friends” boxes? That was unnecessary). It’s a basic tidy-up that makes the content in each column on your profile page feel less arbitrary and more intentional.

  • There is even more importance given to uploaded content, shared links, and messages. However, these posts are featured differently on timeline’s layout. An uploaded picture or a link shared from a friend appears to have higher priority in the newsfeed, but you can tailor how it appears in your timeline. Like before, you can still “highlight” certain posts to make them appear more prominently to visitors. Bottom line: uploaded and shared content posts are more likely to be seen than status updates in the newsfeed. But, you can still give status updates priority on your timeline by highlighting them.
  • The user has more control over module boxes that were formerly static. Before the revamp hit, modules like “recent activity” and “likes” could not be rearranged or hidden on the timeline. However, Facebook users could move around modules that weren’t sponsored by Facebook (ex: YahooNews, Words With Friends). The new design gives the user greater freedom in layout design.
  • A new feature: a “like page” button on shared links. While before you could “like” a friend’s link, that action was not connected to the company that sponsored the link on Facebook. In other words, when I “like” an article on the Huffington Post that my friend shared, I’m not liking the Huffington Post on Facebook. I’m liking that my friend posted the article. The new “like” button is featured within the box of shared links and connects the user directly to the company’s Facebook page.

The new “like page” feature is extremely attractive for online marketing and sales. It offers a huge advantage to Facebook, where companies can both track their target audience and experiment with marketing. Additionally, the feature will encourage page use among businesses who are looking to build community and relationships with their customers.

The more fluid layout may not feel too dramatic, but it essentially challenges the governing theme behind the timeline itself. If you check your profile, you will see a literal line with chronological markers separating left and right columns. New Zealand’s users are saying that this visible skeleton is gone, but the sidebar with the life events has remained.

No word if the layout will stick, Facebook has been eerily quiet about the whole thing. Even so, there haven’t been any visceral disagreements. We may have a new version timeline soon enough.

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