As expected, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced a raft of high-profile media partnerships at today’s f8 summit, including deals with Hulu, Spotify, and Netflix. But Zuckerberg also announced a new aesthetic for the Facebook profile that is, to my eyes, the most complete redesign that the social networking website has ever experienced. Zuckerberg discussed the fact that, in the current design, status updates fall away into the abyss after a few days: A message that someone left on your wall in 2008 requires you to scroll down, down, down through the years. Timeline changes all of that, allowing you to navigate through months and years of your life, essentially “remembering” things for you.
It’s a daring rethink of the entire Facebook experience. It’s also, by the looks of it, a bit of a mess, another big step forward (or backward) from the site’s original anti-MySpace aesthetic. (If nothing else, Facebook Timeline has probably already renewed interest in Google+, which launched earlier this summer with a simpler-is-better design.) I’m definitely intrigued to try it out. The urge to immediately hate on any Facebook updates runs strong, but it’s worth pointing out that Timeline is one of the first non-mercenary updates that the social network has announced in years. Zuckerberg constantly repeated variations on the phrase “Timeline is your whole life,” which if nothing else indicates that there is a purpose to using Facebook beyond suffering through interest-activated targeted advertisements.
But now is no time for sober consideration. Snap judgment here, my fellow citizens of Facebook nation: What do you think of Timeline?
Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich