Facebook Simplifies Your Stream with New Timeline Layout Test

    October 31, 2012
    Josh Wolford

If you think that the Facebook Timeline is too busy, and focuses too much on open graph apps instead of posts, Facebook is testing a new layout that might make you happy.

The new Timeline test removes the visible dividing line running down the middle, expands all of the user’s post on the left, and shrinks the “stuff” on the right. That “stuff” being friends, likes, recent activity, and app posts.

Not only that, but when you reach the end of that “stuff” on the right, the tested version of the Timeline doesn’t fill the empty space with user posts. Instead, it lets the posts continue down the left-hand side – streamlined, if you will. If you’re one of those people who complained about the Timeline being cluttered and forcing you to look back and forth to view posts, this should be a good change for you.

On the other hand, the Timeline looks pretty empty once you get past the likes and app posts.

Here’s the current Timeline:

And here’s the tested Timeline, both above and below the fold:

Inside Facebook says that the dual-stream was one of the most common complaints about the new Timeline, and that this test would be a way to remedy the situation. From what I remember, most complaints about the Timeline involved privacy concerns and the fact that Facebook was forcing it upon users. Sure, some complained about the overall look and feel, but the biggest gripe about the Timeline stemmed from the fact that users will complain about anything new that Facebook does, no matter what it is.

Either way, what do you think about this Timeline design? Better or worse?