Last week I was a bit frustrated with Facebook’s redesign — I was missing a friend’s birthday, I was missing the old format, and I was missing the familiarity. Then I quickly got used to it and didn’t care one bit, and along came Friday when I realized the full extent of what Mr. Zuckerberg was pulling out of his sleeve — a complete transformation of the profile pages of each Facebook user. I got wind of how to install it ahead of time (they will be rolling it out in the next few days) by using Facebook Developer and just like that I was in love. It’s called Facebook Timeline and I’m still trying to understand how huge of a deal this is with regards to how the ultimate social network has integrated itself into our life stories. When I first saw the transformation of my own profile I couldn’t believe my eyes — it was a literally a fully interactive timeline of everything I’ve posted on Facebook and so I dug in and took a stroll back in time. Although I joined Facebook on September 7, 2007, I felt like I was experiencing a miniature version of This Is Your Life. I was captivated, and couldn’t help but wonder how much time this must have taken Facebook to pull off. My friend Nicolas told me that Facebook hired a massive team of the very best social workers, information graphic designers, and more, when they were building the logic and design of the renovation (to read FastCo Design‘s feature article on the backstory of how Facebook achieved this stunning final result CLICK HERE). Yesterday afternoon CNN published their glowing rave review of the revamp, and the following is an excerpt:
“…Facebook Timeline is the best change Facebook has ever made. …Rather than just displaying your most recent activities, your profile will become a scrapbook documenting your entire life, all the way back to your birth. Facebook will become a record of your existence: All your memories, your victories and your defeats, your loves, your losses and everything in between.
…Through this process, you’ll realize that Facebook Timeline is much more than a way to post the minutiae of your existence. While a typical social networking profile might highlight what you ate this morning, or what time you left for work, or where you had lunch, Facebook Timeline takes these thousands of seemingly inconsequential events, discards the irrelevant ones, finds the most emotive, the most visual, the most striking and emotionally touching moments and pulls them into sharp focus.
Much like our memories, Facebook Timeline understands that some moments have resonance that lasts through the years. It’s a marvel of computer programming: An algorithm that comes eerily close to emulating human memory; perhaps the first algorithm to spark such a deep emotional response.
So yes, you will hate the new Facebook profile when it launches in the coming weeks. Then, like me, you’ll realize that Facebook has unleashed something so remarkable that you didn’t even recognize it at first: A meaningful social network. And like any other groundbreaking technology — the PC, the smartphone, the iPad — you’ll wonder why life wasn’t always this way, and how you got by without it.”
Congratulations Mark. You’ve seriously outdone yourself here. Sure, there will be millions of users who balk at the change, and bitch and moan that it’s too comprehensive and lets Big Brother too far into our lives, but these are fully predictable sentiments from people who have no idea the magnitude of this accomplishment. To put it simply — ya did good, friend. To read the full review be sure to visit CNN. To get a jump start on the Timeline launch and do it yourself right now simply head over to TechCrunch.