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Text 100 Sydney Examines Facebook Timeline and Messenger
New features digitize our lives even further
Posted on November 3, 2011 by Simon Clark
Announced earlier this year Facebook is set to launch a massive new update to the way our profile pages are viewed and used – Facebook timeline. Whilst some sources such as PC World in the US speculate on whether the new platform will be fully rolled out on all users’ profiles, the Text 100 Sydney team took advantage of the developer preview to take a look and see what the hype was all about.
Facebook timeline – key features
How is it different? Essentially your profile is now much more visually impactful – almost taking cues from the about.me platform using large graphics and simple sections. The biggest changes are the addition of a cover image on the top of the page to complement your profile picture, and the fact that all information you have ever shared since you joined Facebook is now scrollable (mine goes back to 2007, however one can actually add in information prior to this date including your own birth date – completely digitising your life story).
You and your friends can now find out about all of the major and minor moments of your life journey. Instead of just broadcasting a status update you can now broadcast a ‘life event’ such as your wedding or new job etc. Imagine when Gen Y and Z pass on – their grandchildren if curious will be able to look up the kinds of things they were up to when they themselves were born or what shenanigans you were up to in your twenties!
Additional new features include the ability to tag locations to your images and the ability to see all of your recent location check-ins from a Facebook maps perspective.
In summary we are excited about the new platform and are interested in seeing the kind of reaction it gets when it ever does finally fully role out. Is this a new and thought provoking way of recording and preserving the human experience or just another example of the internet eroding our privacy even further?
Facebook timeline – according to Facebook
Your cover: Fill this wide, open space with a unique image that represents you best. It’s the first thing people see when they visit your timeline.
Your stories: Share and highlight your most memorable posts, photos and life events on your timeline. This is where you can tell your story from beginning, to middle, to now.
Your apps: The movies you quote. The songs you have on repeat. The activities you love. Now there’s a new class of social apps that let you express who you are through all the things you do.
Text 100 Sydney’s perspective –
Rachel Vidaic: “I don’t like it. It looks messy and there’s like way too much going on. I don’t like too much change”.
Bec Badcock: “I like it. It’s easy to see everything all at once!”
Simon Clark: “I love being able to discover things from the past that I’d forgotten about. I agree with Lisa Hope King quoted in a recent article on USA today regarding timeline that it will create further focus on digital grooming”.
Simon Fitz: “It’s like a virtual project/artifact which graphically and chronologically tells your Facebook life story…Lifebook perhaps?”
As well as the timeline platform, Facebook also recently release their stand alone ‘Messenger’ app for Android, Blackberry and iPhone. The app builds on the success of similar tools such as ‘Whatsapp’ to send instant messages over the internet. The benefit of being linked to Facebook is that most people have a far greater wealth of personal contacts on Facebook than even their phonebook, making it extremely easy to contact almost anyone.
We recommend giving it a try!
By Tom Sharkey, Text100 New York
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By Jim Mignano, Text100 Rochester