Facebook is changing the way you see the site. Instead of the coherent flow of updates and information you currently enjoy, Facebook is copying the older MySpace style layout, to give all of the pages a scrapbook type appearance, and ripping off Timeline.com by prominently naming it “Timeline”.
The change is significantly more far-reaching than creating chaos out of order. You better start reading and understanding the privacy implications. You might want to take a look at what PC World calls “6 must-do privacy tweaks”.
If you haven’t seen the new look, then you might want to read about everything you are likely to hate about the new look at http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2011/12/everything-youll-hate-about-new-facebook-timeline/46237/.
Most users have probably not yet been converted over to the new look, but already there is a growing backlash. Pages like Undo Timeline https://www.facebook.com/pages/Undo-Timeline/322551701106897 are rapidly gaining in popularity and user complaints are rampant. Facebook is not at all likely to listen to user complaints however. The reason behind timeline is not to enhance the user experience, it is to sell more advertising. One of the metrics Facebook uses to sell ads is how much time users spend on the site. The new look forces users to spend/waste more time setting up their page and viewing other pages. By design, most of the page is wasted at the top with a graphic, called a ‘cover’, that you probably don’t want to see on every visit and only serves to keep you on the page longer.
So, how do you protest the change? Liking pages, such as Undo Timeline is a start. When you set up “Timeline” Facebook they ask that you not use a cover that is the same as someone else’s. I recommend that all protesters choose the same cover. Feel free to use the one I will be using…
This alone is not likely to accomplish much, other than to amuse others who dislike the change, but there is something you can do that will be effective if millions of protesters join in. If you make timelines unattractive to advertisers then Facebook will either listen or disable feedback. Here is how you effectively protest.
When you visit a page go straight to the ads and point to the upper right corner of the ad. This will make a little X appear that you can click on and choose to hide the ad. Next you will be asked why you are hiding the ad. I suggest you choose “other” and type in “Protest Timeline”. Here are some pictures to help you. Apologies to Lutron Electronics, nothing against them, but their ad was handy.
There is likely no more effective protest against Facebook than to kick them in the advertising dollar.
Some people are going to like or even love the change and that is fine for them, but if Facebook cared as much about a quality product as they do about advertising, the change would be an option. The fact is that Facebook knows most people will dislike the change and so they force it.
So, where does the time bomb come in? Mark Zuckerberg is alleged to have stolen the idea and code for Facebook from a couple of other Harvard students. The claim was compelling enough that Facebook settled a lawsuit for a significant sum of money and stock. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ConnectU. Seemingly, even a young dog isn’t learning new tricks and a website called Timeline.com has filed suit against Facebook for trademark infringement. If you know Facebook’s history, then you know that Facebook is engaging in far more egregious activity than others have that Facebook accused of Trademark infringement. Facebook, following the ethical leadership and ideals of its founder has filed a countersuit that really should thrown out as being frivolous. If justice prevails then timeline will blow up in Facebook’s face. I recommend you read the follow article to understand how two faced Facebook can really be http://paidcontent.org/article/419-facebook-countersues-timelines.com/.
Regardless of whether you like the new look or not, remember to routinely check your privacy settings on Facebook. I recommend you set up a dummy account that you do not friend so that you can see how the rest of the world sees your profile.
Independent Security Analyst