Will Facebook’s Timeline Last? A Closer Look at 7 Other Facebook Features from 2011

Facebook users are afraid of change, according to a USA Tod ay poll released in mid-October, which revealed that 56% of Facebook users did not like Facebook's latest changes. With that being said, Facebook users are constantly growing by the day. What keeps current users with the social networking platform, and what drives new users towards it? The answers are endless, but we should not be looking at what brings users to the platform, instead we should be looking at what drives users away. Timeline, Facebook's "new kind of profile," could be the underlying answer to the question at hand.

Facebook users are afraid of change, according to a USA Today poll released in mid-October, which revealed that 56% of Facebook users did not like Facebook’s latest changes. With that being said, Facebook users are constantly growing by the day. What keeps current users with the social networking platform, and what drives new users towards it? The answers are endless, but we should not be looking at what brings users to the platform, instead we should be looking at what drives users away.  Timeline, Facebook’s “new kind of profile,” could be the underlying answer to the question at hand.

Let’s take a look at Facebook’s actions of the past year, shall we?

To start off the new year, Facebook “rolled” out a new profile to all of its users, which would of course, according to Facebook’s clever marketing, make it easier for users to tell their stories:

January 10, 2011 – A New Profile Is Here:

  • “A quick summary of who you are (like where you live, work and grew up), right at the top of your profile.
  • A row of recently tagged photos so friends can see what you’ve been up to lately.
  • Room to highlight meaningful friendships (like teammates, co-workers or roommates).
  • More of your favorite activities and interests.
  • The ability to tag your friends in important life experiences.”

Simple, but yet effective and useful changes to Facebook’s profile.

Further down the road, Facebook “rolled” out their Photo Viewer in February of 2011:

February 10, 2011 – More Beautiful Photos:

“We are rolling out the new Photo Viewer to everyone over the course of the next few weeks. Now, you can browse more photos faster without having to lose your place in Facebook. Visit the Help Center to learn more about using the Photo Viewer. Check out our Engineering blog for more technical details about how we designed and engineered the new feature.”

Another user-friendly feature for your Facebook profile. Remember the days when your profile would constantly lag, due to you searching through all of your drunken photos?

Of course I am skipping around Facebook’s timeline of 2011, but I’m choosing the changes that a lot of you will remember, such as the new game ticker:

August 11, 2011 – Making Games Better:

“When you’re playing games, you’ll now see a separate stream of your friends’ game activity, scores and achievements in a ticker. The best way to find new games is through friends, and now you’ll have more opportunities to see what they’re playing.

Maybe your best friend has started playing Sims; your roommate has a new high score on PacMan; or your mom and sister have taken up Words With Friends. Simply click on a story and you can start playing the game yourself.

You can now control who can see these stories for each individual app in your Settings. If you want friends to see you’re playing one game but not another, you can change that. You’re also able to limit visibility directly from the ticker by clicking “X” on a story to remove it.”

Remember: Not only did Facebook add the game ticker feature, but its developers also enabled users to bookmark their favorite games by adding the bookmark sidebar.

Also in August of 2011, Facebook introduced an easier way to share posts, photos, tags and other types of content with specific types of individuals:

August 23, 2011 – Making It Easier to Share With Who You Want

“Today we’re announcing a bunch of improvements that make it easier to share posts, photos, tags and other content with exactly the people you want. You have told us that “who can see this?” could be clearer across Facebook, so we have made changes to make this more visual and straightforward. The main change is moving most of your controls from a settings page to being inline, right next to the posts, photos and tags they affect. Plus there are several other updates here that will make it easier to understand who can see your stuff (or your friends’) in any context. Here’s what’s coming up, organized around two areas: what shows up on your profile, and what happens when you share something new.”

Remember this feature? This update created that little drop-down menu enabling you to share certain information with a particular group of people: public, friends or your own custom settings. Another useful feature, if used correctly.