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The Facebook Timeline Is Coming, And It Scares A Lot Of People

    January 31, 2012
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

The new Facebook Timeline is not the most popular feature that Facebook has ever introduced. Granted, it’s well documented that Facebook users are often super-resistant to change, but for some the new Timeline goes beyond minor annoyances like crowded layouts and superfluous features. For many users, it’s a real issue of privacy.

For awhile now, users have been able to access the new profile look if they chose to do so. But since it was still voluntary, many users just ignored it and went about their normal, everyday Facebooking. Facebook has always said that the Timeline would eventually become a mandatory part of everyone’s Facebook experience, but it wasn’t until last week that Facebook announced the switch to Timeline was imminent.

Will the mandatory switch to the Timeline cause you to reevaluate your participation in the network? Are you upset that Facebook is putting it on users to clean up their Timeline data, or do you think users should be responsible for everything the post – even stuff from half a decade ago? Let us know what you think.

Over the next couple of weeks, the Timeline will be rolling out to everyone. Once your profile switches over, you’ll have a week-long “grace period.” During this week, your Timeline view will only be able to be seen by you – this gives you time to clean it up and make it presentable for mass consumption.

Personally, I kind of like the Timeline. I think that it’s a much-needed upgrade of a fairly stale profile page. But then again, I’m not that private of a person and I don’t really care about the skeletons from 2005 that the timeline allow people to dig up if they so choose.

Having said that, here’s some news for Facebook users that have yet to switch to Timeline: it is quite overwhelming at first. I joined Facebook on Halloween, 2004 – and since then have amassed a shocking number of wall posts, status updates, photos, and shared links. And while I wouldn’t call any of it embarrassing, there are some things that if they went away, it wouldn’t bother me. A drunken photo here, an over-zealous political status update there – eight years of living publicly through Facebook is bound to reveal minor indiscretions.

But I know that I’m abnormal in the fact that I don’t really care about all of that. For a large percentage of Facebook users, the company is crossing some lines with Timeline. The main concern is that Facebook seems to have adopted an “opt-out” strategy when it comes to information sharing. The Timeline puts everything out there by default, and it’s the user’s job to clean it up and make sure that they aren’t publicly sharing something that they want to remain private.

Of course, this discussion of “private information” doesn’t just include old, unearthed photos and statuses – but the series of “frictionless” apps that are going to be an integral part of the Timeline. These apps, like “social readers” and music apps like Spotify automatically share your activities with friends. Although Facebook has stressed that the Timeline doesn’t disclose any more private information than the old profile and that all of the apps are voluntary, online privacy groups have voiced concerns.

One, for example, is the Electronic Privacy Information Center. They have asked the FTC to look into whether or not the Timeline violates Facebook’s privacy promises, stemming from a previous agreement with the FTC.

“With Timeline, Facebook has once again taken control over the user’s data from the user and has now made information that was essentially archived and inaccessible widely available without the consent of the user,” they said in a letter, adding that Facebook “promotes oversharing” and wants users to “abandon restraint.”

So, how do Facebook users feel about the Timeline? Is it just a bunch of isolated bitching, or is there mass concern? According to a poll by IT security company Sophos, a majority of people are apprehensive about the changes.

Over 51% said that the Timeline worries them. Another 32% said that they aren’t even sure why they’re on Facebook anymore:

Sophos admits that their poll might have involved people who are a little more concerned with privacy and security issues than the average Joe, but it’s still a striking figure. With this kind of widespread apprehension, it’s no wonder that scam apps have popped up all over Facebook offering to deactivate users’ Timeline.

Other than concerns about crazy stalkers and shocked family members having access to evidence of debauchery, users are worried about identity theft. Could a yet-to-be-vetted Timeline serve as a treasure trove for cyber criminals that use personal information in various unsavory ways?

Sure, but let’s also think about it like this: Facebook isn’t crafting stories out of thin air and using them to populate your Timeline. Anything that the Timeline shows from five years ago, you willfully posted (whether you remember it or not). Sure, Timeline kind of opens up old wounds in a way. Things that you thought buried by time are now prominently visible again. Old information is inarguably much more accessible with Timeline.

But if you shared it, shouldn’t you own it?

And as far as the concern over frictionless sharing with new apps, the answer is fairly simple. If you don’t want everyone to see what you’re listening to with Spotify, don’t connect Spotify to your Facebook account. If their recent actions haven’t made it clear, Facebook is going all-in with sharing. That’s what “frictionless” means – without impediments. The free flow of information has to be curbed by the user, if they want certain activities to remain private.

But the bottom line for some: Facebook is putting the onus of privacy control on the user by putting it all out there and asking everyone to do all the work in making sure their privacy concerns are met.

Will the forced Timeline cause users to jump ship? I doubt it. It seems like every Facebook change brings out the “i’m gonna ditch” threats. Despite this, Facebook continues to grow – because it has become such an important part of our culture. But there is quite a bit of hate out there for the Timeline, so we’ll have to wait and see the reaction when it has finally rolled out to everyone.

What do you think about the Timeline? Are you concerned about how Facebook is handling user privacy? Do you think people are overreacting? Let us know in the comments.

  • http://bit.ly/w0E1ar Rania

    I have mixed emotions about timeline but either way, we’ll all be stuck with it soon enough. Here are seven resources to help you embrace Facebook Timeline: http://www.bit.ly/AmTpCn

  • Barry Fife

    Why on timeline the friends. listing is no in alphabetical order like the current friends list

  • http://ultrafastusdcash.co.cc khrit

    wow. that’s new for me. seem like fb is more complex.

  • Emma

    My issue is that thugs I thought were deleted from my profile, or we’re further back than I had been able to visit on my own profile suddenly reappeared as if by magic.

  • Emma

    Not thugs… Things*

  • MikeD

    This is the holy grail of facebook customer data. With timeline, facebook now has time as a variable for its statistical analyses. With time as a variable you can run time series statistics, including “Granger causality.” This allows those who possess the data to predict future consumer trends about individual consumers. In essence they will know what you want before you do. I’m assuming that the timing of this new feature coincides with the upcoming (overpriced) IPO: it increases the value of facebook dramatically as there has never before been a time in history where we’ve had this much information about the world’s population and all in one data set which now contains the most important dimension: time.

    • Anthony

      MikeD, they’ve ALWAYS had that data (including the time it was posted). It was just mostly hidden until now. Facebook themselves could have accessed it at any time for analysis, otherwise they couldn’t put it all together right in everyones timeline.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/search-engine-optimization-firm.htm Nick Stamoulis

    Facebook knows that its user base isn’t going anywhere. Facebook is now a part of our lives. Timeline does raise privacy issues, but when it comes down to it if you are really that concerned, cancel your account.

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

      Like I said, I would be SHOCKED if this really affected Facebook’s growth.

      • David Lothan

        “One of the things we learned is that you can’t just walk in and rearrange the furniture.” It was Sam Lessin, product Manager for Facebook Timeline, explaining why Facebook was taking its time rolling out Timeline.

        As they made it user by user the user being infected by timeline had to get used to it to keep talking with their friends that aren’t infected.
        However, if they made the change directly probably people will react negative and switch to other social-networks.
        So they realized that by that way it was likely to not affect facebook growths.

  • AlanDevil

    Is there a way to delete lder posts NOT MANUALLY ONE BY ONE?

    Thank you.

    AD

  • http://www.hub-uk.com David Jenkins

    I’m not really concerned about the implications for me as I have never been a great user of Facebook. In fact I would be happier if Facebook had never been invented. Once you have had a daughter groomed by a paedophile through Facebook it puts a whole different perspective on things.

    My Facebook activity has been more recent with a view to starting to promote my web site so no great secrets or embarrassment there.

    My kids on the other hand may well find things coming back to haunt them. Teenage girls can say some very bitchy things on Facebook which as grown women they may well live to regret.

  • Chris Phillips

    I understand Facebook’s business model, but as much as I enjoy keeping up with distant friends and relatives on Facebook, I have decided I don’t want to continue being Facebook’s product to the extent it is now insisting I be. When the mandatory switch comes, I will switch off Facebook.

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

      Will you embrace Google+ then? Twitter?

    • Kyle

      I’m with Chris on this one, the Facebook beast has grown too big and I’ve been concerned about a buisiness page/Reg pagr all along…..No Thanks!
      Yes Josh, if that’s what it takes, I’ll certainly embrace the others. I’m already on LinkedIn and appreciate their privacy considerations. there is just too much personal information floating around in cyber space, at some point it absolutely will become an issue.

      • dudica

        I have to agree with you. I also think to cancel me from Facebook. I really don’t like this Timeline and I believe that Facebook will have a great impact by this – a negative one. Many people I know will simply cancel their account… I don’t know how will this Timeline then benefit Facebook when users aren’t happy about it… All the best to them but I’m out.

        • Carole

          Agreed… color me gone.

          Example: I discontinued reading webpronews when they forced those obnoxious pop-over ads on you to even get to the article, most of which you couldn’t close and just froze your machine… I chose to begin viewing through a proxy for a while, then simply lost interest. I don’t have time for clusterf***s.

          • Carole

            P.S. I discontinued use of twitter and google profile/+ for the same reasons. Fixing it till it’s broke. It’s difficult to imagine why these ppl posess this disease of wishing to destroy a platform that works just fine, bypassing one of the top 5 sales rules K.I.S.S. Truly baffling.

  • Gabrielle

    I like the new Facebook timeline and look. You can control what is shown the same way you could with the wall. The reason that Facebook has been so successful is because it has been a leader in change, rather than following trends. People always grumble, but eventually they adapt. Change happens!

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

      Agreed, People b1tched about the News Feed many years ago. Can you imagine Facebook without a News Feed?

      • Carole

        I stopped using the fb news feed as well for the same reasons as above. If it bocomes a messy, time-consuming P.I.T.A. I simply leave.

  • http://www.lindastacy.com Linda Stacy

    I’m not too concerned about what will show up in my timeline; I’ve never posted anything outrageous. I just don’t want to have to take the time to design my profile page again. The inconvenience isn’t enough to make me delete my account, but it’s another one in a series of changes that has me spending less and less time there. When I’m forced to, I’ll do something minimal to make my profile look half-way decent and then likely just leave it be.

  • http://www.mmwaxmodels.com MkM

    No worries. If we are honest and keep things clean there’s nothing to be afraid of. I like the look of Timeline and how it appears to be a webpage presentation. Facebook has connected me with friends and family that I enjoy staying in touch with. MkM

  • Dan Curtis

    At this point, time line reveals to much about what is going on in my life and when… That is a privacy issue

  • http://www.bgscott.com Brian Scott

    I shall be closing my facebook account shortly. This is not acceptable!!! Script-kiddies strike again!!!!

  • Debbie

    I recently set up facebook so I could have a business page. There’s nothing shocking, regretable or embarassing because it’s mostly business stuff. But I don’t like the look of those pages I’ve seen using timeline. They seem cluttered and it’s hard to find information.
    Not sure if I will actually leave but find myself really resenting the forced change to something I dislike. If it’s so much better everyone would switch over sooner or later anyway. If not, facebook should be listening to their users.

  • http://arhimania.ro arhimania

    I like the timeline

  • http://apennyandchange.pennyleisch.com Penny J. Leisch

    I can handle the format, but I hate the upkeep required when these changes occur. Timeline is cute for personal use, but it’s not a good format for businesses. It’s also very hard to read. Many people will find it confusing because it’s hard to tell what is visible publicly because items marked as hidden are visible to the page owner. I wrote a whole chapter on social media for writers. That probably means I’m not a novice or technically challenged. However, I’ve seriously considered dropping FB. Too many changes, too often, too much time to control and vet it. FB will probably win, until someone else comes along and steels the show by giving consumers what they want and not holding them hostage.

    • http://apennyandchange.pennyleisch.com Penny J. Leisch

      Sorry, I meant to use the break, not the bold. My coffee hasn’t kicked in yet.

  • Lynn

    I will figure out how to delete stuff when they switch my page, then I will only be on to play a couple of games and off again. If I could find those 2 games on another site I would do so and delete my account permanently. The timeline is too busy, cluttered and gives me a headache..
    I think by forcing us to do this that Mark Zuckerburg is nothing better than a schoolyard bully!!!

  • http://www.jimtaylor.com jim taylor

    This is what I think of the new Timeline mode.

    Sung to the tune of “It’s beginning to look a lot like Myspace err Christmas”

    http://jimtaylorcomedy.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/ode-to-facebook/

  • http://www.wix.com/polalor/physics_shrouded_in_mist Peter J. O’Lalor

    Will the mandatory switch to the Timeline cause you to reevaluate your participation in the network?

    NO!Not right away:

    Are you upset that Facebook is putting it on users to clean up their Timeline data, or do you think users should be responsible for everything the[y] post?

    Looking forward to what you discover and report.

    I agree; I don’t know what FB means to me; but, I tried and thought from the beginning; when it was set to personal it was personal; User decided to mark it public. I still stumble on FB searching for what I’ve posted or in responding to a post.

    Please keep us informed: Thanks and keep an eye on FB’s stance RE: Their idea of what’s private.

    PO

  • http://www.starrgates.com Caryn Starr-Gates

    It’s less about privacy and more about the fact that the timeline makes it look like someone vomited up and entire diary all over a page. It’s a visual mess, way too much crap to wade through – does anyone really care that much about having to see everything about someone’s life all at once, all over the place? It is a train wreck, I don’t like it and do not see any value in it.
    I do believe I will spend less time on Facebook because of this.

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

      I agree that it’s definitely a pain to sort through and determine what you would like to remove and what you would like to feature.

    • Carole

      Ha ha, Caryn! 😀

      My thoughts *exactly*!!! I’ve been telling ppl that, unless you take a hit of LSD (what I’m guessing their ppl were on when they dreamt up this clusterf*** of a nightmare) or bring a kaleidoscope and a spoon with you to facebook to de-code that mess that looks like someone dumped out a game of pictionary with a bowl of alphabet soup on top… you’re right, it looks like vomit! And on top of that the vomit takes on a life of it’s own as it mutates and moves all around on the page… ridiculous.

      My gawd, I’ve seen some pretty stupid things done to web sites over the last 20 years, but I must say this one takes the cake! lol 😀

  • http://www.melmenzies.co.uk/ Mel Menzies

    Once upon a time you had the option as to whether you wanted your year of birth to be private or not. That still appears to be the case, but one of the things I’ve noticed in recent weeks is that FB “friends” (most of whom I’ve never met) now have not only a birthday reminder sent out, but their age. That can have a huge impact on how you’re perceived by people who don’t know you. And I, for one, feel that this is a gross breach of my privacy.

  • http://FB lori

    I’m not a fan and because of the change I hardly ever go on FB anymore.

  • http://www.southernutahhousefinder.com Ryan Andersen

    We still have google circles. If people don’t like the time line they can always turn it off and stop using it. Google Circles may just become the new norm for social media.

  • http://Rockmore.org Theresa Tee Marvin

    I believe that this is an improvement as well as keeps people honest don’t you think?

    • Kate Lennon

      You’re kidding, right?

  • http://www.searchquestamerica.com Susan

    Hi,

    I actually like the new Timeline better than the old format. Much crisper layout and more professional looking.

  • Robert

    Many people I know are leaving Facebook. Facebook needs to learn to leave well enough alone. They are always coming up with these cockamamie ideas to change things. That is Zukkerman’s youth, inexperience, and ignorance coming through.

    • Amanda

      I wish I had Zuckerman’s youth, inexperience and ignorance…. Then I might be a billionaire too!

  • Kathryn Beach

    Since professionally I administer Facebook Pages for others, I have to keep a profile there. However I will be deleting as much as I can from my profile history and limiting my personal activities there. I dislike the mess that is the new page style. There is a reason that I refused to administer MySpace pages for clients – it was the “teenager’s bedroom” design. It’s becoming painful to use Facebook for the same and I will limit my use to professional reasons in the future. WTG Facebook…you’re becoming the darling of the teens.

    • http://website-in-a-weekend.net/ Dave Doolin

      This is really a *huge* opportunity for MySpace: “The social network that lets you alone.”

  • Carole

    How is this going to help me interact with my friends? If they want to have timeline, start a separate facebook for it! Give us a choice! I’m here for my friends, not some fancy-ass blog/scrapbook!

  • richard

    Do not like the timeline, hard to follow and assimilate info and just stupid. We should, as users, be given the option to maintain the previous format.

  • http://btmphotography.blogspot.com ben m

    As soon as Facebook makes it mandatory I’m deactivating my account. I’ve already been fed up with it for a while now but this will definitely be the last straw for me.

  • Sue Hetherington

    Timeline is in my opinion the the most difficult to utilize from a viewing point of view, I do not yet have this but a number of my friends have and frankly I cannot find anything with ease on their pages. I only use FB for gaming and I will close FB down if I cannot find a way around using Timeline, there are so many issues surrounding FB and gaming that it is no longer worth the effort to try and learn a new layout.

  • Jonathan Peebles

    I am the percentage that wonders why they are still on FB. God I miss myspace but it too messed it self up with the changes and now FB is doing the same thing and it is a very lame version on myspace

  • http://www.ukgreetingcards.co.uk Michael

    I am not sure about this one I use facebook its not that good there is much better social sites out there!! I will have to see what they do on this one.

  • http://www.s-3d.com David Bailey

    I LOVE the new Timeline feature. As for security, there seems to be plenty of the same controls available as before. Personally, I use Friend groups and limit access to my profile based on those groups. Secondly, a basic foundation of NOT sharing things you don’t want shared to the world is key. I feel that the new lay-out is the best thing they have done!!

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

      I am of the mindset that if you put it out there, it’s fair game.

      • Hw

        But what if you deleted it and FB brings it back? Not cool.

  • Lisa

    I think the new Timeline being introduced makes no sense. I have seen others that have adopted this look and it is so confusing and crowded. As a business how is anyone to actually find what they are looking for. The information looks to be all over the place. Should they not have asked the REAL USERS what their thoughts were? Isn’t that what a successful business does? Instead of the technical personnel and staff making the overall decision for everyone.

  • http://www.barnettassociates.net/ Toby Barnett

    I’ve been using Timeline since beta and after getting used to the flow, I prefer Timeline to the previous version. It drastically more appealing to the eye and seems to work smoother on mobile devices.

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

      I’ve noticed that as well on mobile devices.

  • http://paidinstyle.com Robert Vayner (viral promoter)

    The big question is will companies deep inside the facebook api or the social commerce world that revolves around facebook api like the new monster (http://yardsellr.com)for example with over 8,000,000 users in still early stages HAVE A CHOICE on using facebook or not ? NO !

    Then the Domino effect hits and everyone is happy again, timeline or no timeline..

    I personally don’t like the timeline…

    Good article at the right time…

  • Kate Lennon

    “Will the forced Timeline cause users to jump ship? I doubt it. It seems like every Facebook change brings out the “i’m gonna ditch” threats. Despite this, Facebook continues to grow.”

    I was – and still am – bothered by the last changes they made on fb (putting the activity feed on the side of the page). I considered closing my fb account, but eventually decided I could live with the changes.

    But not this time. I have decided that when the timeline appears on my page, I will quit facebook and permanently delete my account. Not so much because of the privacy issues – though they are a factor – but more because of the way fb treats its users, imposing changes, regardless of what people want. I had to close two fb groups because of changes they imposed, and a fb “fan” page I’d spent weeks getting just right, was trashed when they suddenly and arbitrarily decided to change the format. Images I had carefully sized were now too big for the page. It is also becoming more spammy every day. The overwhelming feeling I get, when using fb, is that they see their users as being there to serve their purposes, whereas they themselves can do whatever they like. Well, I for one have had enough. I’ve already announced on my page that I will be permanently logging out when the timeline comes in, and I’ve sent my contact details to all my *actual* friends on fb.

    • Justin

      Great post. You make a lot of valid points. I too feel that Facebook could care less what their users actually think. They bank on the fact that they’re number one and a few lost people won’t hurt their overall bottom line. Reminds me of some big businesses I know. Complete disregard of their customers/users.

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

      I certainly understand that with Facebook, you’re less of a user and more of the product these days. And some people might follow your lead and quit. I just don’t see it affecting the company in a big way. It would take a lot more than Timeline to make people leave in droves.

  • Darlene

    If timeline is rolled out, it should at the very least have an obvious feature to modify and edit what anyone can view. It should by default block all until the user specifically allows anyone to view anything. Each area should be easily modified and/or blocked by default.

  • Jim Roker

    On the issue of leaving facebook.

    People do not leave. To date in over a year of trying, I have found it imposable to quit Facebook.

    No one on the Internet that I can locate knows how, and the contact to Facebook staff that was supposed to be available for that purpose just gets a canned response to contact tech support.

    • teddyz

      Hello Jim, there is a page of how to Deactivate and/or Delete your entity. I searched their page and found the instructions yesterday. Since taking the action neither I nor my friends can find anything on Facebook about je

    • sj

      Jim this link will get you to the instructions on how to delete your FB account:
      http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=224562897555674&ref_query=del

  • sj

    In the process of closing out FB account. Just give me life in the real world sans FB, Twitter, G+ etc.

    I’m really tired of the whole social network thing.

  • Homa Pourasgari

    Facebook, Twitter and blogs are all public places. People, myself included, have the tendency to over share, forgetting that everybody is watching. I try to limit the amount of info I put out there about my personal life, but sometimes I like to talk about stuff. Like it or not, that’s how we connect as human beings. It’s all about balancing of what to put there and what to keep private. Am I worried? Not really. Compared to celebrities and politicians, personal information my life isn’t all that exciting…

  • Bill

    I believe if FB wants to pursue the Timeline they should do so moving forward, if that’s what they want to do. But that they should not make it retroactive. With employers and other agencies using Facebook to gather information, this new Timeline could resurrect damaging info that had been willingly, though regretfully posted. Damaging info that could now be used to harm the respective individual. Facebook is simply trying to maximize their income potential regardless of how it effects their community participants.

    • Justin

      This is huge. I had posted later on here in the comments section that things could come back to harm people from months and even years past. I was more referring to future relationships and personal things, but I forgot about prospective employers and even current employers looking back over your page.

      What I want to know is with Timeline, is everything viewable by everyone or just friends as it stands right now. Right now, only people I’m friends with can view my pages. If Timeline makes it public to everyone, then that’s just going to devastate some people who started when they were a lot younger and who may have matured but can be harmed by something that happened so many years ago. Those things should be forgotten except by their closest friends.

  • VDOVault

    I’m so glad I got a Diaspora* invitation a couple of months ago so I now have a way to go social that I own & control. I never have liked Facebook and now my friends are finally starting to see *WHY*. This hopefully will make them move elsewhere.

    But between Google interlinking everything and FB’s latest data grab my poor fingers hurt from all the clicking to delete my data on their sites. Ow!

    PS This Timeline BS is all about scamming er ‘pitching’ potential shareholders on FB’s upcoming IPO. I plan on leaving FB nothing to monetize save my ‘I hate FB & greedy corporatists’ posts.

  • Charlie

    This is not and was not ever supposed to be about holding users responsible for what they post! It’s my page and so long as there is no nudity as per the rules then I should be able to post what I want! Facebook is not a “public” page, that is why we have the “befriending” process, to only allow certain persons to see your info. This is a case of Facebook trying to copy twitter and to fix something that just isn’t broke!!!

  • http://www.gonecountryband.com Michael Carpenter

    I freakin hate timeline…it always jumps back to the top….its a jumbled mess….it’s ok though…you fuck it up and make everyone use it..we will all switch to the next new thing….remember myspace? noone else does either…

  • Wesley Pringle

    Timeline doesn’t scare me But it will cause many to leave facebook that are on dial-up connections. It takes much longer to download timeline than the regular F/B People should never put anything on the internet that they want tp keep a secret.

  • teddyz

    I have deactivated my Facebook and today will delete it. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t like the way that it is ‘thrust’ upon me to comply with the way that Timeline is being implemented and that the participants are required to go back and edit.
    That lead me to consider why I have a Facebook entity at all. I’ve determined that there is no real benefit to the mater and thus the deletion.

  • Hw

    The thing no one’s addressing is the fact that FB is apparently putting everything back up even if you’ve taken the time to delete things. This is VERY disturbing.

    I maintain my page to keep it post free. That way any stupidity displayed has been deleted. But now, according to friends who also keep clean pages, every single thing ever posted, deleted or not, will be part of the Timeline.

    That’s just a hassle. And kids today? Lesson learned? NOTHING’S ever gone once posted, even when it’s been deleted.

  • Justin

    I don’t like the idea of the timeline as mandatory. It’s fine if people want to do that, but I absolutely think it should be optional. Facebook should be about what you personally put on there and also what friends are saying. However, older posts should sometimes stay forgotten down in the mythos of older posts.

    We are not the government or some huge business. Our information should stay our information and not be treated as fully transparent. That seems to be what Facebook is going for. Full transparency into every aspect of your life as well as your secure information as well. I guess now we’ll all have to be cognizant of what we post because, years from now, someone can go, “Hey. Look what you said here. ” I personally don’t want to be accosted for something that happened years, even months ago because of something someone else put. In a way, it’s like the Facebook version of SOPA. If you don’t monitor and delete everything that is readable by everyone, you could suffer later. That’s just too much of a pain in the ass if you ask me.

  • LJD

    I am already looking for a FaceBook alternative. I don’t trust them anymore.

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

      There are plenty of other social networks out there, but I don’t think there is one that you could call a true “alternative” to Facebook.

  • http://www.delphradio.net Andrew

    If these ideas are so good, why do they have to force them on people? Likewise, if people are happy with what they’ve got, why do they have things forced on them?

  • http://www.colorshosting.com Atul Deshmukh

    Timeline sucks big time, not just because of privacy but it’s look and feel, accessibility, visual placement of current version (non-timeline) is great compared to time line bigger and takes time to find/ figure out an item.
    With more and more people joining facebook like never before, facebook should not make things mandatory for everyone, with same look instead publish updates as modules, templates(skins), etc so that everyone could personalize their content as per their requirement.

  • Cara R.

    I have seen timeline on several user pages and I truly HATE it. It’s not that I dislike change because I don’t. Change can be a GREAT thing. But, in my opinion, timeline is clunky and cluttered. NOT being able to opt out of timeline is annoying at best and invasive at worst.

    While I essentially agree with the “you put it there so why complain that it will be seen” argument, I will point out that there are times when we post something and then later regret it. Timeline put it right back out there for everyone to see unless WE take it off.

    Shame on Facebook for once again auto-setting our privacy to OFF!

  • http://www.studioartistx.nl Alexander

    I dunno, not that I’m worried, but I prefer some deep posts I’d like to belong to the past. Now that everyone should be able to (easely) access it, I guess as soon as it rolls out, I’ll quickly go through it and delete loads of old and stupid stuff. Kinda annjoying. For the record, I hate timeline layout, the curent one is much more useable and also peaceful.

  • Ngaizone

    We have had Timeline in NZ for awhile now. I don’t like that it is public. I enjoyed going through it till I realised everyone could see it. I had already shut down my Facebook so my name doesn’t appear in the search. Someone who I had blocked re-appeared and I was horrified to think that they could have read my timeline before I realised they were back. I am going through the Timeline and deleting everything. Why should I have to spend my time doing this? It is not what I signed up for five years ago. I also changed my age on their too as I was fed up with menopause remedy and fat people ads. Now I get wedding ads and bank loan ads. Stick in a few curved balls to piss em off people. Everyone in the house is looking to alternatives as Facebook is now too intrusive and time consuming to run.

  • Jayne C.

    I DON’T LIKE IT!!
    I’ve got it and want to go back to the classic Profile Page; but there is no way to get it back. It’s ridiculous. We should have the option to do this.

  • http://thepsychicuniverse.com Diane Ollivett-Miles

    If they would make it so you could click at a particular time and delete everything that came before that time I would like it! 90% of what is on my wall is of little or no interest to me and just takes up space. I use Face Book because I have to have a business presence there, not because I want to know in detail everything everyone is doing every day.

  • http://www.lesleyfletcher.com Les Fletcher

    The timeline is not scary just different. Go in weed out and things are back to normal quickly. Do I like that FB hold a data base of stuff I have deleted (messages especially) no, I do not but knowing that they are kept has me careful with messages. The bold look is great. I managed to pick up a tool that allows me to view with 1 one column. Why on earth they have those boxy 2 columns I can not know. I hope they change that fast as the tool I downloaded has a little blip – I have to refresh each time I go onto FB. I do get to view other Timeline with one column and it makes a huge difference to view speed and comprehension, digestion of photos posts etc. All good. No panic needed. Just do a housecleaning if you feel it’s needed.

  • http://www.futuremarketingmasters.com Steve Clarke

    Facebook need to rethink this and extremely quickly.
    Take a look on Developers Forums, Facebooks own help page, and your own comments, so far less than 2 million of Facebooks estimated 300 millions plus people have taken up this awful modification. With Tweeter, LinkedIn and all the other Social Networking alternative it is painful they had not thought this through better before people leave in droves. The wheel has well and truly come off the wagon….
    Steve Clarke
    Future Marketing Masters

  • http://afiliatemarketingadviser.com Roger

    Really not sure about Timeline. No problems for me in my past history as far as I am concerned but the privacy issue? However why join FB, put up all that info and make friends if you did not want people to see any of it?

    Now that is the big question. Some of us are more internet savvy than others but some will exploit the unwary. Been in this business long enough to spot the scammers.

  • http://CompassionateMarketing.com RS Mallory

    There is no rhyme or reason to the format of the new timeline and it is VERY confusing. Developed BY tech guys for the Public, they should realize that we don’t have ADHD and would prefer the simplicity of what we are presently using. Since I do not use Facebook for business and I am confused about finding information on the timeline pages, I will probably migrate to something else, like hundreds of thousands of baby boomers who are NOT tech minded nor have Attention Deficit Disorders :-) Thanks for keeping us posted.

  • brenda

    I don’t like the new FACEBOOK Timeline

  • Jan MacIsaac

    As far as I am concerned, if it is not broken, then don’t fix it.

    • Jerry Weldon

      They want your info and to make sure you have no privacy..

  • http://facebook David

    They (facebook) can always say well if you don’t like it there’s other social networks, if they take this hard-line then it will be so unfair to there loyal members, they will be saying ‘like it or lump it’, is that anyway to behave to its members. They have been so successful because of the people have who have liked the old established format. So beware facebook, ive seen other businesses change ‘the deal’ with a ‘bollocks to the customers stupid attitude’, and they like you facebook will pay the price by losing members, and if there isn’t a rapid change of mind it’ll be to late, people don’t forget inconsiderate buffoons!

  • http://www.melchinger.com John Melchinger

    If the FB Timeline means that everything posted on my account will be available for all to see, and if I don’t want that change I must clean up my history myself, I will just make my choice to stay or drop out. Frankly, almost everything about FB annoys me, from the pop-ups that won’t go away to the inability to decide what columns I want to see. I am ready to defy logic and quit because a system that does not serve me is my preferred system. I don’t answer phone calls when the calling number is not shown or when I am eating. No problem. Use it up; wear it out; make do; do without.

  • http://womanonwater.blogspot.com// Cate

    I don’t like the layout of the new timeline. The banner at the top looks good, but the timelines that I have seen have been cluttered and difficult to navigate.

  • http://bassingtexas.com Dudley P Allen

    I am just about done with Facebook… It used to be a cool place to unite with old friends and hang with the current ones.. Now! Ads all over the place… games and junk popping into the screen. I am looking for “The New” resting place to go.

    • Jerry Weldon

      there was one..the guy died all of the sudden remember?

    • http://www.last.fm/user/mcg1985/journal Nathan P

      I might be tempted by Timeline to bring back an old project of mine. Might be what you are looking for.

  • Jerry Weldon

    It is an invasion of privacy and if you stand for it you are just another one of the sheeple that swallow anything that is handed to them. Good Luck!!

  • Janz

    I don’t like timeline…..it’s so crowded…I still like the old one!!!

  • Charles

    I will probably be leaving facebook !

  • http://www.last.fm/user/mcg1985/journal Nathan P

    I’m worried because I won’t have high-speed connection until fall, so by the time I get around to checking out the changes, it’ll be too late for me. Facebook as it currently is (without Timeline) is slow and unwieldy for me to use. I’m afraid that’ll get worse after Timeline shows up!

  • http://www.bryonlape.com Bryon Lape

    I care less about the Timeline than I do the butt ugly new interface. It is crowded and is a huge cluster. So, someone can see what I posted in 2006. So what. Good luck finding it in the new interface.

  • Robin

    I do not want timeline, why is it mandatory? I do not want this.

  • http://www.captaincyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

    Google as with Facebook as with (insert name here) … it all comes down to the “bottom line”. (Google was just fined $500 Million for playing fast and loose with phony pharmaceutical companies running Adwords ads, and from what I’ve heard the e-mails used for the conviction went right to the top.)
    Be careful with what personal information you give them (insert name here) because they’ll exploit it … no matter what they get you to believe… like “Do No Evil” (We’ll just let the $500 million fine dispute that.)

  • Sorayah

    It’s messy… delete anything and you end up with blocks of white space… Posts are constantly moving around… It’s a total time consuming mess, I’m all for advancement, but technically this is just dreadful… Shame on Facebook to let their standards drop to this amateurish level… BUT… Perhaps, what I have personally experienced are just teething problems.

  • Joshua

    I have a facebook account and had chosen to add the timeline feature when it was voluntary primarily because I felt like it enhanced the layout. Users can still have privacy on their timeline, just as they did with their wall. If there is something that a person does not want on there, they can remove it. I have done the same. Only data that is set to the general public in the privacy settings will be available to the general public.
    I also like that in my own timeline, I can find something that I had posted before if I know what month that I had posted it. If I wonder when an event occurred that I posted about, I can look on my timeline.

    I think that people are overreacting. Timeline does not force users to turn private data to public.

    The only potential current flaw that I see, is that photo albums seem to have lost the ability to change the album cover. But this isn’t a privacy concern. I don’t see facebook as trying to control the users with the timeline. Facebook is making many changes, but I think that they are changes that are improving facebook.

  • chase

    What’s Facebook?

    Everyone acts like drama queens when a site changes something. It’s their site, like it, stay, don’t like it, log off. Delete your account.

    Problem with being censored by moderators, reverse engine their local, hack their accounts, shut their water and electric off.

    Other wise call, 1-800-Waa-aaah

    If you don’t want it shared on the web don’t post it on the web…

    Many act they don’t know the web is…

    This is all so laughable…

    So what is Face book any way…? Bunch of gay mfers lookimg for clicks as an ego builder for what you lack in real life, so….of ing gay even in this virtual world.

    So don’t get your panties in a bunch, just hit the power switch and out all goes away.

  • Jacs

    I’ve always been very cautious to not post anything on Facebook that I would not be comfortable sharing with the world. Anything private was posted in a private message – I believe those are still in fact hidden from pubic view :-)
    So, I’m not worried, and I rather like timeline.
    Call me crazy :-)

  • http://rchavez-entrepreneur.com rzc24arcel

    I really don’t care for in the first place to impose timeline is a one way decision from the top. I am also thinking why am I still using facebook?

  • http://rchavez-entrepreneur.com rzc24arcel

    I don’t care for in the first place imposing timeline is a one way decision from the top. I am also thinking why am I still using FB?

  • http://www.woodsieswaste.co.uk/ Lisa

    HI,

    Damn dont know why all r behind Facebook?
    Its just so irritating that whatever fb does there is always a buzz in the market.
    Come on now its just a timeline, there nothing to worry. If u have a secret then its simple don’t keep it on fb.

    Wats so big hype in fb? Its just a social networking site come on! If there is more than FB then do tell me

  • Dan

    I have a Facebook account. I’m really not worried about the new Timeline. After all, it’s my responsibility for whatever I’ve posted. If I don’t want it seen, then I need to delete stuff. I haven’t posted anything I regret, certainly nothing “low-life.” So, there you go.

  • http://sjm-va.com Sheila J MacMillan

    I don´t use Facebook much, so the Timeline shouldn’t affect me much(I hope!). But I question why it´s been brought into being (apart presumably to make more money). And although the golden axiom is don´t put anything onto FB that you wouldn´t want anyone to see, most people have had youthful indiscretions, drunken parties, change of political opinion – if it was private then, why should it be made available to everyone now? And, no, I don´t think the onus should be on the FB user to “clean it up” – some of us have better things to do with our lives. Make it voluntary by all means – but don´t make it mandatory (too late I know).

  • http://www.ifa-orisha.com Jaap Verduijn

    Well… I never considered the internet offering any privacy to begin with. I know I don’t have any, so I simply shrug shoulders and move on. No, I don’t particularly like Facebook’s Timeline… but yes, I think I am still responsible for for whatever I posted anywhere on the internet, even half a decade or more ago – including Facebook. In fact I kind of LIKE it that some old stuff comes up again because it gives me the opportunity to delete it. When I google for “Jaap Verduijn” I find some 8000 results… many of them old websites that I don’t have access to anymore, so I can’t delete them. At least Facebook allows me to do so!

    • chase

      Now that’s something that is long over due for clean up. All the old links when you Google your name.

      Dead links with zero content, old sites one may have belonged to that they don’t anymore. Even when accounts are deleted Google search still picks them up.

      Shares more ammazing, is that Googles search will pick up on dead links, old accounts in a search when one used a screen name rather than a real name as was popular to do years back. And how it associates it with your current screen name.

      Talk about privacy invasion, how does it know it’s you, if you never used your real name our current screen name?

      Thats something to ponder on… and should concern people more. But mostly something that definitely needs cleaning up.

      Probably make searches faster, more concise. Lighten the loss on the net for sure getting rid of all the old bs links.

      Good point you brought up there Jaap

  • http://www.3dmerchant.com christine

    I would dump FB if not required to be on it for my business to remain relevant in Google search.

    I feel sorry for teenagers and young adults especially who are vulnerable for dumb things they may have said in the past that may become public.

  • http://vivian.selexxion.de Vivian Cooney

    I dont LIke the timeline
    I dont like that you can not go back to the previous “oldmode” site if you want.

  • Beverly

    Please take us back in time. I dont like the new timeline. To confusing. I dont think I will ever get use to it. I know several of my neighbors are talking about deleting their fb account. I dont want this to happen. There are a lot of people out there that agree with me. SO PLEASE TAKE US BACK TO THE OLD FB PAGE.
    THANK YOU

  • http://13hechizosinfaliblesdeamor.com/blog/ Oscar Barona – Hechizos de amor

    The timeline will be a wake up call to some about how little information they have shared in the past. In my case, was the catalyst to examine my relationship with Facebook, so I closed my account.

    Thanks for the inpu

  • kelley

    i dont like the look of it, and think it should be a option. i have emailed mark and told him what i think. i shouldnt be told how to have my page designed for me. its getting to point of why bother get on facebook anymore.

    • Bull Sh*t

      There is an article I read with an interview with MZ which discusses “changes” and his take on them. In so many words, he said they are trying to be at the forefront of development and the users, although they gripe, will get used to it. I wonder, would he get used to it if the 800 million users forced change on him…?

      • http://internet.underceej.co.uk The Ceej

        I want to know who you are. You’re clearly a smart guy who figured out the Big F the way I did. By being suspicious of what was being said and then researching. The kind of person I’d like to know.

  • http://www.fotograf-brasov.ro dudas

    Dudas Photography – fotograf nunta in Brasov va ofera servicii fotografice: fotografie de nunta, poze nunta, albume nunta, fotografie botez, sesiune foto, fotografiere nunti.

  • Mary

    It’s way too confusing and columns don’t work good for layout especially if you just want to read what’s new. I will probably just play Words with Friends and that will be about it for me — don’t have the time for FB.

    • Bull Sh*t

      Or you could just invite them over for a game of scrabble…

  • http://www.LAokay.com Steven G

    It comes down to choice. Many companies choose for the consumer what things should be, especially when they have the staffing and money to give choices to the public. Facebook could with very little trouble allow the users to use the new look or keep the old look. Google could do the same with it’s search engine to allow me to get rid of Panda. Google claims it’s only a layer on top of the actual search results, so why not let me disable it completely for my own searching?

    I hate the new layout, and want Facebook to go back to the one before the current version we’re all using now.

    • Bull Sh*t

      YOU are the PRODUCT!! Facebook doesn’t care what you want, just like Krogers doesn’t care if the mac and cheese is “too warm and wants to go back to the bottom shelf.” DELETE ACCT!!!!

    • http://internet.underceej.co.uk The Ceej

      Bullsh*t is right. You are the product. That’s the thing too many Facebook and Google users don’t understand, but they will one day. Oh, they will. I just wish it would be in a fashion benign enough for my saying, “I told you so,” to be a gratifying experience, but it’s going to be too catastrophic for that.

  • http://www.dirtworks.net john meshna

    I wouldn’t ind if it were optional but making it mandatory after they promised us a different privacy policy when we signed up is a breach of contract which is typicaL of the arrogaance of youth demonstrated by Zuckerman and people his age who haven’t lived long enough to know just what horrible things can happen to them as a result of their actions and now they’ve been given money and power to corrupt the world with their small minds and lack of experience.

  • http://learntoearnfromstocks.com/ saihai

    Nice post mate !

  • http://www.timelinecover.co jatin

    I loved it all the way the way you have presented the thing here! Wonderful effort. Now coming to the topic Timeline looks quite good but i am afraid it is quite difficult to go back to the old facebook looks if anyone does not like it. Which is a great draw back of this change. If you look at this website http://www.timelinecover.co for more about TIMELINE.

  • Eric

    Reducing my FB to family and only current data, the rest is being deleted. Most likely will abandon it as time goes on.

  • Lisa Bell

    I don’t get much time and these silly changes take to much of it figuring them out. I wish all programmers would stop fixing things that aren’t broken.

    I know they mean well.

    • Bull Sh*t

      You are delusional if you think they mean well. They are in it for money and power. Now the typical programmer may fit your thought, but not the company.

    • http://internet.underceej.co.uk The Ceej

      Facebook has been broken from day one. It SHOULD be fixed. Unfortunately, however, Timeline is only going to break it further.

      But, keep in mind that you are not the client. You are the product. Facebook cares about your opinions like a farmer cares about his pigs’ opinions. You can try to force them to listen to you, but you know what happens when the pigs break into the farm house? Not in the Orwell novel, but in real life. They just get slaughtered early.

  • FB user

    I’ve worked for – FORTUNE 500 companies – so what happened to asking the end-user what THEY want ?!! I also find it extreme unsettling that there is NO way to reach them. No support line, no phone #, no direct email afforded me. grrrr. My page has been hacked saying i friend-requested people i dont know. WHICH IS BLATANTLY untrue ! anyway, isnt this a social media forum? I have seen pages where they have 5,000 friends (maximum allowed = oxymoron] – do you really think they know them all intimately??? How dare you use my personal info for marketing purposes ! we are in a litigious society and i will find a way to sue them for $16 million ! The arrogance of them !

    PS – Anyone know how to report, rectify, unhack LOL, my account ? I havent asked anyone to be my friend in several months and refuse to sign an agreement stating “i will agree to no longer friend-request people i do not intimately know…” I find this EXTORTION/BLACKMAIL ! PPS what about musicians pages, entertainers who want to reach out further to the public? Their policies seem to be contradictory. ANY COMMENTS ON ALL OF THE ABOVE ? Please let me know. Thanks.

    • Bull Sh*t

      to un-hack…lololol The best option is to PERMANENTLY DELETE your account and move on with life.

  • Donna Miller Yanego

    I enjoy reading Facebook and hearing about old friends and current friends their fun activities, unfortunate life happenings, but I don’t like being forced to become a member of anything. At my age I take every on line step cautiously. So forcing timeline is bullying me. You should give choice. I want to participate on Facebook, please keep it user friendly.

  • G. Barlow.

    i do not know anything about Face Book. Should I ?

  • Bull Sh*t

    The only reason I even use facebook is for my business. I deleted my acct(s) well over a year ago when “roll-outs” (maybe a better term would be “milking the product for all its worth” (product=user)) became an all to familiar scene, similar to the first massive social media failure, myspace. The idea of someone other than myself having access to my shopping, reading, music, movie, sports, hobby, exercise, gaming, ad infinitum, habits and preferences, is just too much. “They will know what you want before you do,” line I keep running into is a clue, (to which most people don’t have (in this matter of privacy,)) that no matter how much you censor you decade old posts, pictures and “likes,” from other people, the ones you really want to keep in the dark are anything but. This is no longer a social media site whos’ primary mission is to facilitate networking, but a MASSIVE experiment in social control. Face book has been selling private information of its users to rouge factions and “friendly” governments for some time now (http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/6479935/Facebook-is-security-agencies-dream) And while all the information, every click, like, and keystroke have always been stored, (and available to aforementioned)the timeline being forced down our throats now is a way to back log your private information to points much senior to the inception of the site (i.e. your birth in 1963….) This will allow for a broader data set for the algorithms to mine. The big thing is that information you deem unfit for your profile(most likely posted by others,) may be deleted on the spot, FB still has the info, and can further determine what you are going to do, buy, say next. Put it this way, if I have privileged information about a friend, and a opportunity came up where I could persuade/dissuade ONLY because I have this private information, would the friends decision be made by their own “free will,” or would this be considered coercion? Now scale this up to the 800 million active FB users…Sca-ry!! Leave now and restore your free will, or be doomed to sheepdom.

  • http://internet.underceej.co.uk The Ceej

    There is one good thing about Timeline. That is it will kill Facebook and this social networking fad will be over. And, to that, I say, “About damn time.”

  • http://yahoo clara jean rossi manning

    i dont like the time line i would like my old face book back please , dont know how to change it please help , my friends and family are on the old one ,is everyone going to be on timeline or just soom ,,,

  • http://yahoo clara jean rossi manning

    i dont like the timeline would like my old facebook back cant figure it out , my friends and family are on the old one ,, will wveryone be changed to timeline ,,

  • http://yahoo clara jean rossi manning

    dont like timeline please give me my old facebook back to confusing

  • S Darko

    Facebook is Big Brother.

    Don’t use it – don’t sign up for it – don’t let your kids use it – it is not what you think it is – it is going to be used to the wrong reasons – If Hitler had had Facebook, do you think it would be considered ‘benign’? When has any government let alone a so called private company had access to so much personal information? Do you think that is innocuous? Innocent? Very naive thinking. Where is the healthy and necessary scepticism that is needed about this very dangerous information tool? People, wake up. Facebook is Big Brother. Don’t get an account, don’t put your info on it. If you value any privacy at all that you may think you have, stay away from facebook. And teach your children. Do you think it is an accident that the ‘founders’ went after the young and innocent who have no idea of what governments and centralized information systems did to people all over the work throughout history? Facebook is a cross between something Nazi Germany and Stalin’s communism would have invented and been very very happy to have in its hands. Don’t think it could happen here? Just let there be more people out of work for a longer period of time and the people start rebelling in the streets. Once there is political unrest, the Big Brothers in our culture will definitely find a way to track down what they need to know through facebook. Knowing what went on in Nazi Germany and the midnight knocks on the door or in Soviet Union for people who happened to not belong to the right party or to express opinions that were not considered acceptable, well, be careful people. You’re setting your own traps and they are pulling you into them.

  • Dan

    I closed my FB account a few weeks ago, when they switched me to Timeline. I hate the TL format, and there was no way I was going to use it. But I’m also 46 years old, and FB is mostly used by younger people. I’m one of those people who refuses to get a mobile Internet device such as an I-phone or Blackberry…I find those things are more of a distraction than of any practical use as far as time management goes. I also find myself exasperated with the speed of technological development…things are getting more complex and require more and more of my time to learn how to use them. I tend to react against that by refusing to waste my money and time on such things. Leaving FB brought me a sense of liberation.

  • Jill

    If looking for something that will help the anti-timeline cause, everyone should “unlike” all of their likes (ie; pages for products we use, items we buy, and so on) until the option is given by FB to have the old format back. The people that pay fb (the advertisers) have alot of the control, those that are connected with FB are just a “product” to these advertisers. To make a point, a big dent would need to be made in the money belt. If for example by June 1, fb users don’t get the option to want timeline or not, they start pulling the plug on the companies that they support. If these companies start seeing how much dislike there is for timeline and since they have more “power” economically, so to speak, to make the change fb users are looking for, then it is more likely to get what is wanted. The advertisers NEED the fb users. If fb users aren’t interested, the advertisers will want to know why. If they understand it is because fb users do not want the new timeline, they will figure a way to get their support back ie; putting the pressure on fb to give the freedom to choose the format that is preferred for each individual.