Try to recall the layout from when you first signed up for Facebook. Chances are – that layout no longer exists. Facebook has become so accustom to rearranging and redesigning its layout that it seems to turn some users off a bit. It occurs so often, that many have been deeming it “unnecessary” and “annoying”.
But let’s think back at how Facebook used to be. When I first created my Facebook account, I was still using MySpace, another social media platform that was also widely used at the time. MySpace was customizable, allowing users to add fancy effects and backgrounds to their profiles, and for the HTML savvy, the possibility to create personalized overlay layouts were there.
Facebook on the other hand was simple – a news feed, wall, and “poking” (among other extras). The transition from having the freedom to personalize profiles on MySpace, to essentially having the exact same profile as everyone else on Facebook was somewhat strange at first.
So can we really blame Facebook for wanting to constantly change their layout, which (with each change) gives us more ability to customize our profiles?
With the current layout, “Timeline”, we have the option to choose our own “cover photos” which are prominently displayed on both personal and fan pages. We also have the option to choose who and what we’d like to see on our news feed and how often we’d like to see it.
But let’s not get too comfortable here with this current Timeline because a new change is occurring, yet again, with Facebook. A new and improved Timeline is slowly making its way to users everywhere, starting in New Zealand, where it recently went live. This “single-column Timeline” holds a larger left side column focusing only on user’s conversations and statuses. The right side, now smaller, holds the user’s non-messaging updates such as their Recent Activity, likes, and friends list. The new Timeline looks to be sleeker and more organized; some even think it has gone in the direction of resembling Twitter in a way.
The benefit to this layout is that there is now a greater emphasis on communication. It is organized in a clean manner and almost reverts back to the old Facebook some users remember. Instead of focusing on everything a person is doing, users now enjoy more interaction between Friends.
Those who pay close attention to the trend that is occurring between social media and everyday people, it isn’t hard to notice that social media has become an extension of who we are. In order to mesh together our behavior towards social media platforms like Facebook, a big change to their layout is bound to happen eventually. Some users are even taking matters into their own hands and creating their own interpretation of what Facebook should look like in today’s society.
While many may like the new layout, others are asking – why the change? Users were just getting used to this Timeline, and before they knew it, it is changing yet again. The question is why does Facebook feel the need to constantly change little things often, rather than just making a big change all together?