It’s finally here, though a bit awkward to start up. You may have not even noticed right away as you have to go to facebook’s timeline website to even sign up. But Facebook timeline is here and boy… is it an OCD nightmare. I took about 20 minutes of my morning reviewing it and seeing what possible improvements it may have, not to mention integration into mobile devices, and found myself getting lost over and over again. But is this an improvement over it’s old design? Or is this the last hurrah of a cluttered dying mess?
Ok, lets break this down a bit. First, how does it look? Well, it actually looks decent enough, just really really cluttered. I found myself getting lost in the timeline trying to figure out what came first and what was posted by me. It does a good job in keeping track of everything, but if you actually like that sort of thing or want opting out is entirely your choice. The cover photo that spreads across the whole top of your page is a really nice touch, although I would suggest choosing a picture with a higher resolution as my first few photos looked grainy.
Now for the way it functions. The navigation is pretty nice, with all your options being to the right, not to mention the ability to add things in that you may find noteworthy. Why you would do that is because it keeps track of things you have done BEFORE Facebook. It doesn’t have anything in there except your birthday, but you have the option to add photos and events within that timeline if you wish to. If you’re feeling especially OCD, which I will probably do later, you can find old photos, old events and paste them in year by year, month by month and even day by day. Don’t be surprised if you spend hours filling in Facebooks holes only to realize later that a lot of people may not even read that far.
It’s integration into your mobile phone isn’t really evident beyond your profiles design change. I tried it on my Droid X, the cover photo is there and the top of the page looks almost exactly like your timeline. When you scroll down you get the months and years broken up, much like it is on the computer. The only big thing missing is the side bar to control the years more easily, but considering this is on a mobile device you probably won’t be doing all the heavy editing there. It is nice that the full page is available through your phone as Facebook typically delays updates on smart phones months behind their browser counterparts.
So is this all worth it? Will this breathe new life into Facebook or lead it down the same cluttered dead road as Myspace? In my opinion, it is going the way of Myspace if they don’t clean up the layout a bit. There is just way too much information jammed into one page that it can get overwhelming and a chore to navigate anyone’s page. Time will only tell as Facebook is still the #1 social website. Google+ certainly isn’t catching up anytime soon.
Sign up for Facebook Timeline here!