From Blogs to Tickers and Timelines

Audrey Miller, Features Editor

The biggest social shake-up in recent days concerning the reconstruction of Facebook has been the topic of debate amongst users. The six year-old network created by Mark Zuckerberg has thrived in becoming a public blog for friends, family, and acquaintances of interest. Facebook has succeeded in overthrowing MySpace, LinkedIn, and Google Plus, becoming the top social network, right next to the newly introduced Twitter. There is no doubt that Zuckerberg has developed a prosperous network, but have the changes diminished the reputation of the site, or have they helped it grow?

Facebook has altered its direction from using a blog-type profile to a timeline of a person’s life. This timeline is said to be able to represent the users on the social network better by allowing their living histories to be displayed, as opposed to the blogs that only show what the person has been up to the past few days. Personally, I feel this change can epically alter the type of viewers that will end up using this site. Facebook is known to be a place where people can connect with friends and family and share what they’ve been up to via status updates, wall posts, page likes, etc. The new privacy settings do give users the opportunity to select which parts of their history they wish to share, but doesn’t the timeline change the meaning behind Facebook as a whole? It is not a dating website. You don’t need to know people’s entire life stories; that may be a bit too much information to share.

Another new feature, called the Ticker, gives users an easier way to stalk their “friends”. The ticker is much like Twitter. Located in the right-hand sidebar, these micro-updates share the activity of all your friends online. I feel this new feature is useless and unnecessary. It is not important for me to know the exact time my cousin Corrine liked her best friend’s prom photo, or what my friend Libby posted on her boyfriend’s wall about their date last night.

While some of these changes keep Facebook relevant and interesting, I feel it could dramatically change the users’ perspectives of this site. The blog should stay; the timeline is just a bit too much. After all, wouldn’t you rather the public get a taste of who you are, instead of stalking your entire life?