Facebook users are notorious for hating change. Who could forget these (over)reactions to the addition of ticker to the newsfeed?
While we may joke about jumping ship, most users have too much invested in Facebook to revert to MySpace. Instead, we adapt to the new changes until the “old” Facebook is nothing more than a distant memory. You can gripe and grime all you want, but these changes are here to stay.
We at Clix have been doing our best to assist those of you who are going to stay on the Facebook train (see How to Navigate Facebook Updates 2011, Facebook Unveils Timeline, 6 Things You Should Know about Facebook Timeline, How to Set Up Facebook Timeline), so today I’d like to highlight some of the many features you’ll love about the new Facebook Timeline.
1. Cover Image
Facebook’s timeline is highly visual. One of the most obvious visual changes is the cover photo. Whereas the profile picture has traditionally been primarily vertical and limited to the upper right corner, the cover photo is horizontally oriented stretching across the top of each profile.
The cover photo only appears on each person’s profile page, so it is not necessary that it be a picture of the person. It gives users the opportunity to show something about themselves beyond their physical likeness.
Although timeline is still in the beta stage, designers have already designed some creative ways to use the Facebook cover photo.
2. New Image Layout
In addition to the cover photo, Facebook has increased the visual appeal of images and photo albums. Now, when you post a new photo or album, a large image appears in your timeline accompanied by large thumbnails of the other photos in the album. This layout is highly more attractive and much more striking than the previous layout.
Facebook has promised that timeline will give a more prominent placement to apps in each user’s experience. While developers are still determining the best use of apps in timeline, Facebook has introduced a few apps of its own, including the Facebook Maps app.
Since August 2010, Facebook users have been able to “check in” to locations and events using Facebook places. These check ins would appear as a post on their wall and quickly disappear into the abyss of old facebook statuses.
Maps adds relevance to the check in. Though it still lacks the popular game mechanics of Foursquare, it does give interesting insight into users who chose to use it. Sure, you could sift through old statuses, updates, check ins and pictures to see where users like to hang out and what they like to do, but Maps paints a much clearer picture in a more visually appealing way. Open up your map and you will quickly see all of the places you have traveled to or visited. You can also zoom in to see how often you’ve visited certain places, quickly showing the places you frequent most often.
Maps also beautifully integrates the photo app. To add a photo to your map, simply edit the photo location. Then when you open that location on the map, you will see the photos of yourself there.
4. Life before Facebook
The biggest change that timeline has brought to Facebook is the integration of life before Facebook (yes, its hard to believe, but there was life before Facebook). Timeline’s central purpose is to allow you to quickly share your life story with others. For most of us, that story began before Facebook. Timeline allows you to fill in gap on Facebook. So pull out those baby pictures and start sharing!
5. Hidden Poke Button
Finally, and possibly most important, Facebook has changed the poke button. No, unfortunately Facebook has not completely removed the poke button, but it has hidden the button in a much harder to find place (if you’re wondering where it went, you’ll have to find it on your own). I can only hope that this will deter those distant relatives and long lost acquaintances from putting you in that awkward internal debate on the most appropriate way to respond to a poke.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Facebook has made several updates and I’m sure there are more to come. So tell me, what updates are you most excited bout?