Additional updates on the horizon for Facebook
Efficient connecting or stalker paradise?
Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 10:09
When you sign onto Facebook Sept. 30, be prepared to see a new layout and many angry statuses because Facebook is rolling out some major changes.
The majority of Facebook's new changes are revolving around its new "open social graph" technology, which basically integrates users' activities so they can have real-time interactions.
One of these social graph changes is the upcoming streaming music and video service. This all allows real-time interaction among users: instead of simply "liking" a song your friend has posted, you'll be able to tune onto the same stream and begin listening to it.
Facebook is also planning on adding a new "Timeline" feature, which will allow users to refer back to anything they've posted. According to PCWorld, Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, refers to the timeline as the "story of your life: it contains all your stories, apps, and is a new way to express who you are."
The timeline layout will be a dual-column view with a large main column for viewing content and a smaller one for fast navigation, according to PCWorld.
You'll be able to create filters on your timeline as well. For example, you can create a history of your music or create an exercise timeline that reviews your health and fitness activities (and even those of your workout partners), according to PCWorld.
You'll even be able to "fill in" your timeline, adding whatever you'd like to specific parts of your "past." With that being said, you'll be able to remove stories or photos from your past content as well.
Unfortunately, if you've been a Facebook user for over a year, it may take a while to scroll through your timeline, figuring out what to keep or delete.
Melissa Manis, a junior majoring in elementary education, has already upgraded to the new Facebook version and likes the timeline feature.
"It's basically like a yearbook because it's filled with all sorts of memories," she said. "I like that you can go back to any time just to see things you posted, who wrote on your wall and who you became friends with."
When Manis first upgraded, she decided to click on a random year and scroll through it.
"I have to admit, I did delete some things from certain people who are no longer a part of my life that I don't want to be constantly reminded of," she said. It took her a few minutes to work through one year.
Her only complaint is that now Facebook is "even more stalkerish," allowing people to become the "ultimate creepers."
"With the newsfeed within a newsfeed, you can see what your friends are doing at every second — even people you aren't friends with are mentioned on it if a friend comments on a post of theirs," Manis said.
Other upcoming changes include a private activity log to help users filter what activities they'd like to promote or hide and a new, huge "cover" photo at the top of the Timeline (which will always be public, like your profile picture is).
The status box will also have five new icons that will let you add "specific life events" to your profile, such as work and education, family and relationships, living, health and wellness and finally, milestones and experiences.
Manis also says there's a "View Activity" feature that's like "reverse notifications"— it'll tell you what you wrote on other users' statuses or walls.
The changes that were already rolled out these past few weeks will stay during the Sept. 30 upgrade. Probably the most influential changes were the tagged photos change, the addition of subscriptions and the update to the lists feature.
There is no longer an option to just hide tagged photos — you must hide all tagged posts, including status tags.
The "Subscribe" feature allows people who aren't on your friends list to still receive your public posts. You can also pick and choose what to subscribe to: photos, life events, games, status updates, comments and likes, etc.
Finally, lists have become more sophisticated. Now you have the option to only show posts to certain lists. Facebook won't notify your friends if you add them to the "Close Friends," "Acquaintances" or "Restricted" lists.
However, if you're adding people to smart lists, such as your schools, places of work or family, those friends will be notified and asked to confirm the request.