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How Facebook Timeline Is Killing User Engagement
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How Facebook Timeline is Killing User Engagement

Facebook Timeline SUCKS!

OK, before you think I am just a hater of new technology because I don't like change, give me a chance to explain myself here.

I have been an advocate and supporter of Facebook since day one. It was and is still the best networking medium online, though I think it is becoming riddled with spam, I still think it is an excellent and engaging tool that we can use in our personal and business lives.

But I have some MAJOR issues with the latest Facebook Timeline interface updates (I just updated a few days ago), and I just had to take a few minutes to vent.

Issue #1: I am painting the WALLS in ME

Seriously, my ego has gone through the roof since I rolled out Facebook Timeline within my account. I can't get enough of myself! I have already proclaimed my self assumed awesomeness by adding not only a profile image of myself, but an entire half page "cover", a new banner that now preludes my roll.

My entire first fold of my Facebook page is painted in ME. A half page banner self promoting my love for myself...please, isn't that a bit overkill?

Are we really becoming this egocentric and narcissistic that we need to showcase ourselves instead of our conversations. Does Facebook know something I don't know. Is this the year of me? Am I not self promoting enough. Should we all become a bit more Donald Trump like?

Issue #2: Is my "timeline" trying to replace my memory?

OK, now this freaks me out. First they call me awesome, now they are calling me dumb. Is Facebook trying to remember my childhood, my 20's and my 30's for me...did I not take enough Ginkgo to remember my own life? I know I share a good deal of my private thoughts and information, but do they need to allow people to walk into my life in this fashion? Is this Orwellian?

Facebook Timeline gives visitors of your page the option to look back through all the past posts that you have done, based on a per year basis. If you want to see what I was doing back in November of 2011, all you have to do is check out my profile. If you want to see how funny someones hair was back in 2006, then check out their timeline.+

On a side note, will this kill the autobiography industry? If I ever wanted to write one, which I don't plan on doing, should I just send people to my Facebook account to "creep" my history instead?

Does this replace the investigator, the police officer? Is Facebook going to solve all the crimes in the world?

Wow, I sure do have a lot of questions with this one!

Issue #3: We don't really read like this, do we?

When was the last time you read a book switching from paragraph to paragraph 2 different pages. I understand they are trying to maximize the real estate, but I think the side by side activity roll goes against everything that we were taught growing up. In fact, it goes against everything I have ever read and enjoyed reading..

I read a fair amount on a day to day basis...information is in abundance, but my time and focus is at a premium. If something is not laid out in a readable manner, I am out and moving on to the next periodical, the next news app, the next website/blog, and in this case, maybe the next social network.

Issue #4: Nobody Cares About Me Anymore

The average "friend engagement" in my account prior to adding Timeline was very good. Anywhere from 1%-2% of people would engage in discussions, and this is across all of my friends. Now? A fraction of this percentage.

Big difference and this lack of "surfing" is going to hit Facebook's bottom line. I am also finding that I am engaging far less. I don't want to use the Facebook system since their "blog" style approach, it was created based on the communication medium that it is, the networking system that it is, and now everyone is essentially pushed into creating a sales page.

We all strive to be read and shared don't we? Facebook Timeline does not encourage this activity.

Is this a segue to the grand entrance of Google+?

I said it earlier this year, all that Google + needs is for Facebook to slip up, and I think this is going to be the breaking moment for Team Zuckerburg. I could be wrong and I have been before, but I usually can adopt new technologies and can appreciate forward thinking change...not this time though.

I personally find it an overstimulating experience to look at my new Facebook profile. Google+ aint looking so bad anymore.

Facebook has moved away from what they are brilliant at here, social networks and create an egoic platofrm that is going to create far less communication and far more self promotion and business promotion. Without the communication, you don't have the activity, you don't have the engagement, and you lose a good deal of activity from the moderate users like myself.

If you have Timeline, I would love to hear your thoughts. If you don't have Timeline, hold out as long as you can and enjoy your communication platform while you have it. The Facebook mass is going to be mandated to the new interface very soon.


Street Talk

Very nice Kyle. The side effects of technology are many.

Reply
  about 4 years ago

I hate the timeline and all of my friends feel the same as I do. Facebook shot themselves in the foot on this one. This page is basically unreadable as the two columns will switch mid stream and you are left searching for the post you were reading. I am sure they thought this would be a good thing, I just cannot figure out what that 'good thing' is! I like the cover picture at the top and I use it more for things I enjoy and love such as Myrtle Beach photos, my Indian heritage pieces, West Virginia landscapes and my family and dogs. I don't mind that portion of the Timeline, but everything else can go back the way it was before Facebook lost their minds!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Yeah, I do agree with you. It is not a natural way of reading things with the way the layout is. As with anything though, people get used to it and you don't hear people complaining much about Timeline anymore, they just vote in the way they use the system. I find that since I have used Facebook far less, in particular on my own personal wall activity.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I've thought for a time now that F/B is over complicated and it's getting worse. No I'm not into Timeline because I imagine it's not an improvement. Incidently, while I'm here, in my last article submission I had 2 links to Facebook pages and was told that: "Affiliate links are not allowed" but your above article has links to F/B. Is this favoritism?? How is F/B an affiliate link?

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Links with "?" are assumed affiliate links, regardless of where they are from. So you can in fact link to facebook, but you cannot link to any URL with a ? in it.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I also hated it from day one because I have a harder time seeing all the recent posts on my friends' pages and my own. It just doesn't flow in a way that is easy on the eyes. At least the "home" page is not in the time line.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

I can't see them keeping the homepage on the old interface for too long. I think that they may have a timeline style homepage on the way, but it likely won't be exactly the same.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Jeremy T  

yep i already don't like facebook for my own reasons, and i just use it now just solely for marketing purposes. This time line crap is really going to disengage users and i personally think facebook may change the time line into something different. LIke instead of a time line they may have a different page format. Did you also notice you can change your color of your back round and put music on your facebook? I did but for some reason it hasn't been available. Seems like they were throwing in myspace like materials in there

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

I don't think they want to get into backgrounds, it takes away from the continuity of their site. I think people are getting used to timeline, but Facebook's focus seems to be moving more and more towards business use. I personally have noticed that over the last 2 years people are less inclined to share information about themselves and more inclined to share "stuff"...copied images, quotes, web pages, promotions, etc.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Jeremy T  

that is pretty much why i joined back into face book is for business reasons. i liked the myspace before fb got popular because it was yours to design it however you wanted and put songs on there that fit your personality. It really made you feel like it was "your space" lol. Facebook is boring and it really gets ma angry when people say really dumb stuff on posts like " im so bored" "i dont feel like feeling like being bored" stupid crap like that. im ranting n here tho lol

  
  about 1 decade ago
Jeremy T  

also myspace was more sociable in a way how it it was designed at the time before fb was popular kind of made you want to engage socially i guess. Fb on the other hand turns me off in a way that makes me not want to post anything or be sociable. That's just my opinion tho were all different

  
  about 1 decade ago
  

Facebook really took off because it was a way for people to say "I am bored" in a selfish way and get exposure. It was also a way for people to share images, which has been one of the biggest driving factors to it's early success. Like any other medium, they have to evolve...in the same way that MySpace should have. If they don't something new and more interesting will come along and steal away people's time, more recently Pinterest has taken some marketshare away from FB.

  
  about 1 decade ago
Steve TY  

I hate it! I don't have it. I don't look at other people's profiles anymore. Nearly everybody I know wants to go back to the old profile.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

I have to admit, engagement is going up as people are starting to get use to Timeline. Initially FB lost some users because of their move to Timeline and engagement has never been at what it originally was, and I think this is in part to the fact that the Homepage content is still the old Facebook style. I am interested in seeing what they are going to be doing with that.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Al4256  

I enjoy your style. I,ll have to check out timeline to see where this is coming from.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Thanks. Yeah, business pages are moving to the Timeline style, originally where I saw the value of timeline because it is much better for self promotion, right up the alley for business.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I am not really crazy about the Timeline either. I have to choose my favorite photos. The Timeline is harder to read than the old settings on Facebook. Hopefully, the news feed will continue to be in chronological order.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

I could see them updating the news feed at some point as well (maybe just a new look). The reason I say this is that after using Timeline, I think the old Facebook news feed now looks outdated comparative to their new timeline. Do I think Timeline has hurt their business still in terms of engagement, YES. There have been many reports stating that places like Pinterest, Yahoo News and even Myspace have seen major influxes since the timeline was implemented. Coincidence?

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Seems this is opening the door for some competition to FB. Sites like Wuzzl and desporia are seeing quite a jump in users.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Yeah, will be interesting to see how people react once that it is a forced roll out. To be honest with you I think that most people are getting used to it, engagement on my profile is still a bit down, but I am finding that people are starting to get it. I still have some of the same beefs with it, but if the interaction continues after everyone is on timeline, it has been an evolution for facebook that has worked for them and their "underlying" plan that we likely don't know about yet.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I agree with you Carson. I think the crowd will not like it. I do not like to be forced and I think that is the case with most people. If they have already done that, then it should be little "softer" to slowly introduce a changes. FB is so big because of most common people, not because of people who use FB for business.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Yeah...and this seems to be a move geared towards business and self promotion. A personal showcase...I don't mind the look as much as I first did, but I still (after 2 weeks) am finding engagement to be down on FB timeline profiles and also find it much harder to navigate through wall conversations.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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