And there it is, the biggest mistake Facebook has made to date. This week, it was announced that in the coming weeks, Facebook Timeline will be mandatory for all users. Timeline is going to be a major change to the overall user interface of Facebook, where your profile will be dramatically changed. Released to the world at the f8 conference back in September, by Zuckerberg himself, its intent is to tell the story of (your name here). It will allow you, and your friends, to travel back in time to see all your old posts, posts you thought were gone, dead and buried. Well, guess again! But, Facebook says you can hide posts from friends, which you have to do one by one. For someone like me, who started in 2004, this could take a while.
There have been many mixed reviews about this change, but those feelings may change soon as Facebook continues its current innovative moves. Recently, Facebook announced the addition of more than 60 new apps with the intent of retaining users and hopes of continual growth. They are referred to as “frictionless apps”, which means the user can use the app and have the information shared automatically, with your permission. Some may already be familiar with a few popular apps such as Spotify and the wildly-addicting, Pinterest.
Facebook has always had issues with privacy concerns and Timeline isn’t helping their cause. I think it is a serious breach of privacy, forcing people to have to hide all their previous information they no longer want public, which will likely not go over well. Also, sharing every single move you make, while involved with any of the new integrated apps, is a bit much as well. If Facebook publicly has to say that they are giving users one free week with a privatized Timeline, in order to clean up old posts, that should be a tell-tale sign right there that this isn’t a smart option. Sure, there ARE ways to privatize any and everything you do, but Facebook isn’t about to waste a second to educate you on these moves. Because of this issue alone, I think it will begin to scare people away from using Facebook in the future.
I watched the f8 conference, live on UStream, where Mark Zuckerberg first introduced Timeline. At that moment, I immediately said that change will be the ultimate demise of Facebook. Am I right? Maybe, maybe not. I think 2012 will be the year that they see their first decline in numbers. This will at least lead to a major decline in growth, and it will be derived from this move. What do you think? According to the social media reporting site, Mashable, the average Facebook user was 38 years old in 2010. That age has likely increased since 2010. Older generations are less likely to be informed of the drastic changes or defend against such moves. For that matter, the average user doesn’t understand how or why this change happened. I believe they will simply delete their profile rather than deal with the hassle. Everything anyone has ever posted will be available to the public eye, and that just may scare them away for good.
There comes a time when every great giant must fall. I think 2012 is the beginning of the end for the Facebook Empire and the rise of a new social media contender, Twitter. Twitter will rain supreme as the most popular social site of the year! Now you may not agree with everything I say, but it is food for thought. Tell me where you stand on this issue. Good move or bad move? I’d love to hear where YOU stand!