Facebook Pushes The Still-Optional Timeline In ChatBy: Josh Wolford - June 29, 2012
Is everybody enjoying Facebook Timeline? No regrets? Have you even switched your old profile page over to Timeline?
Despite saying months ago that the Timeline would soon become mandatory for all users, Facebook has yet to pull the trigger and force users to adopt the still-controversial feature. Although my informal poll of friends suggests that a majority of people have switched voluntarily, there are still a few holdouts who, through laziness or stubbornness, still rock the old school profile.
Nevertheless, Facebook has begun to direct users to their friends’ Timelines in a new way. Now, you’ll see a new icon next to a friend’s name in your chat list on the right-hand side. It’ll appear when you hover over the name. It simply says “Go to ______’s Timeline.”
Simple enough. And it’s just another way to get people to make a habit out of frequenting Timelines. It looks like Facebook is making a point that not everything happens within the confines of the News Feed.
This isn’t the only recent feature that Facebook has added to promote TImeline. Last week, they unveiled business card-like Timeline hovercards that appear when you hover over a friend’s name on the News Feed.
So, with all of this recent emphasis on directing users toward Timelines, is Facebook ever going to be ready to make it mandatory?
Way back in January, Facebook said that everyone would be getting Timeline within “the next few weeks.” At that time, users could optionally make the switch, then take seven days to make sure they got their information straight before making it live. The decision was (and still is) optional, but final. Once you go Timeline, you can never go back.
Then, in March, Facebook forced brand pages to switch over to Timeline (after giving them a month to prepare). But this mandate just covered pages, not user profiles.
Now, as we near July, holdouts can still enjoy their old Facebook profiles. In terms of this new icon in chat and these holdouts, it will still say “Go to _____’s Timeline,” but it will take you to their old profile.
There’s still a significant backlash against the Timeline from some users. Some are concerned about privacy, some don’t like the design. Other, naturally, are just pissed about any Facebook change so they have to be pissed about Timeline too.
Let’s just say that enough people dislike the Timeline for “remove Timeline” and “go back to old profile” scams to continue to thrive.
In the end, though, most users already have Timeline and many have no problem with it. Some (gasp) actually love it. And with every new feature Facebook unveils that showcases the Timeline, you have to think that Facebook is inching closer to forcing everyone to make the switch.