As one of the newer features to be rolled out, the timeline is one of the most radical changes to the user experience ever developed by Facebook. Though initially introduced in the fall of 2011 up to this point the use of the timeline has been an optional feature. That is all about to change. Without giving a specific date, Facebook has indicated that it will make the change mandatory in the coming weeks.
For many Facebook users this further reinforces the idea that the company tends to roll out major changes without proper notification to the user community. In addition to the fact that a specific adoption date has not been defined many in the Facebook community are not happy with the features of the timeline.
Reading through comments left by Facebook users on community blogs and in response to articles highlighting the change, there seems to be little happiness with the timeline. Some users who changed voluntarily are complaining that they wish they could go back to the old interface. Other users who have yet to move to the timeline look forward to the change with trepidation and fear.
Facebook has faced several user revolts in the past concerning changes. Typically there is a significant upswing in the number of user complaints that last for a period of 2 – 4 weeks after a change and then the discontent begins to settle down as people become use to the modification. After one change in the way users received the updates from their friends, criticism of Facebook was particularly intense. Several months later Facebook re-implemented an updated scheme that was similar to the original one and this update also received tremendous criticism from the user base.
Though the timeline is just the latest of changes to Facebook it is certain to not be the last. And like the criticism that is today leveled at the timeline you can be certain that future updates will also be heavily criticized. But as Facebook continues to add users and will eventually reach 1 billion subscribers, you can be sure that Facebook will continue to march to the beat of it’s own drummer without worrying about complaints from it’s users.