Why Facebook Is Right To Force Timeline On Everybody [Opinion]

Facebook Logo   Why Facebook Is Right To Force Timeline On Everybody [Opinion]If you haven’t yet switched your Facebook profile over to the new Timeline then the chances are Facebook is getting rather insistent that you do. And it’s no wonder. It’s been 8 months since Timeline first reared its admittedly ugly head. Surely that’s enough time for everyone to get with the program.

While I’m sure some people will hate me for saying so, I think Facebook is right to force Timeline on everybody at this stage. For starters it isn’t all that bad, is it? And even if you hate it, there are legitimate reasons for Facebook to have made the changes it has made. They may not be pretty but they’re at least sensible.

Facebook Timeline

My Timeline Cover   Why Facebook Is Right To Force Timeline On Everybody [Opinion]

Facebook has changed many times since it was first launched by Mark Zuckerberg while he was a student at Harvard. While still retaining the same core elements, the look, feel, and features have all evolved since the beginning of 2004 when Thefacebook, as it was called at the time, first popped up on the Interwebs.

Timeline is the latest big change to be made to Facebook at the time of writing, unless you count becoming a public company as a big change. Facebook started rolling out Timeline to all users in September 2011 and by December 2011 was available to all who wanted it. However, some users are still holding out, reluctant to make the switch knowing that once they make the switch there is no going back.

All Timeline really does is display your Facebook data in a different way than the the old profile did previously. Your Facebook page becomes a repository of information related to your activity on the site and the personal information you have imparted since joining. In other words this is a visual change rather than a fundamental change. That hasn’t stopped a hate mob forming to protest against Timeline.

Hated By Many

Angry Mob   Why Facebook Is Right To Force Timeline On Everybody [Opinion]

Many people hate Timeline, but then they’re the same people who have hated all the various changes Facebook has made to the site through the years. Every single time Facebook makes a noticeable change, no matter how slight it may be, there is sure to be a vocal minority whining about it on the Official Facebook Blog, forums, or bizarrely, on Twitter.

Timeline has been a particularly controversial change, partly because it is being forced on everybody, partly because it unearthed old status updates people would rather forget, and partly because of privacy concerns. While I understand all of these objections I don’t support them. There’s a reason to force change on all users, you can hide or delete old updates you don’t like, and you need to stay informed and keep on top of all privacy settings.

There’s Money In Them Timelines!

Profit Is Our Motive   Why Facebook Is Right To Force Timeline On Everybody [Opinion]

The reason Facebook made the change to the way our profiles look is blindingly obvious – money. When Zuckerberg started Facebook 8 years ago he was a student with principles and a desire to change the world. He wasn’t interested in making money from his creation. That’s clearly no longer the case, as the recent IPO makes clear.

Timeline is another sign that making money now features prominently in Zuckerberg’s mind. It presents data in a new, easily digestible way, which is great for a company that relies on that data to determine what advertising to display to its users. It also increases engagement, which in turn increases the number of times the ads are shown, which in turn increases revenue.

Everybody On The Same Page

Pages   Why Facebook Is Right To Force Timeline On Everybody [Opinion]

Facebook needs everybody to be on the same page. It’s evolving and it needs its users to accept the changes. Facebook is just the same as every other website on the Internet in that it needs all of its users seeing the same version of the site as everyone else. The problem Facebook has is that its users feel their Facebook profile somehow belongs to them, and if they don’t want to change it, then why the hell should they?

This isn’t an issue the majority of other sites face. A quick visit to The Wayback Machine will show you how other sites have evolved through the years, but when they did, there was barely a squeak of disapproval from visitors. This is because on most sites people are passive passers-by rather than active participants.

Chris recently listed 10 big websites that look vastly different now than they did 15 years ago. Would anyone have preferred them to stay the same? Because that is essentially what opponents to Facebook’s continual changes are suggesting for the social network they clearly have a love/hate relationship with.

Accept It Or Move On

Mass Exodus   Why Facebook Is Right To Force Timeline On Everybody [Opinion]

There are currently thought to be around 900 million users on Facebook. Which means there must be millions still holding off from switching to Timeline, even though the change of layout was first unveiled last September. I think it’s time for those holding off from switching to either accept the changes or move on.

Some people seem to feel a sense of entitlement with Facebook, as if they have a say in how the company is run. They don’t. Only the executives, employees and, thanks to going public, shareholders, have any legitimate claim over changes made and decisions taken. The rest of us are mere pawns. We get to use the service for free, Facebook gets to sell advertising and collect data about us all. It’s really no different from how Google operates.

This is a fair trade, but if you don’t agree then there is, happily, nothing forcing you to remain at Facebook. You can abandon the site, deleting your account on the way out. You can then choose one of the other sites out there, such as Twitter or Google+, or just stay away from social networking altogether. In other words – put up or shut up.

Conclusions

I would implore you all to stop moaning about Timeline on Facebook and beyond, but doing so is at least preferable to vaguebooking. Please let me know your thoughts on this subject in the comments section below – whether you agree with me or not. Opinion is free, discussion is good, debate is healthy.

Image Credits: Robert Couse-Baker, Evan P. Cordes, Jenni Douglas, Rupert Ganzer

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213 Comments -

AriesWarlock

Timeline is pretty bad. I also challenge the idea that timelines is somehow an “evolution.”

Dave Parrack

What’s so bad about it? And it’s an evolution from the point of view of Facebook, not the users.

Mike DeGeorge

At first, I thought Timeline was horrible. I didn’t really have a reason to hate it…I guess I just followed everyone’s opinion. But, I changed to it by accident(too enthusiastic on the clicking :P). At first it was confusing, but now I really like it. It’s technology. It’s going to change. Funny…people think using the same thing for a long time gets boring – but when something actually gets changed, everyone hates it.

Dave Parrack

Someone who doesn’t hate me for sharing my opinion?! Thanks Mike :)

Reg

I don’t think anyone really hates you for sharing your opinion. However, the sharing of your opinion does not mean everyone will agree with you. Timeline is, in my opinion, ugly and clumsy. Don’t hate me for it! :)

Gus

Actually, you don’t know that. An opinion about timelines says nothing about your sharing of opinions. Sorry, but he may well hate you after all.

J Taylor

I found you after seeing a recent rant by one of my relatives on FB who was “gasp” forced to switch to Timeline. I, for one, find your comments spot on.

Technology evolves. Facebook is a free tool. Embrace it or leave. And ultimately, stop whining. Seems pretty simple. Also, I don’t get those who find the left to right progression along the center timeline to be a problem – it is the same model as reading text off the pages of a book (remember those??) I do agree with the poster who commented that older posts can be hard to find but overall, I think it is a workable interface.

Festisio

Facebook is not free.

When you are bombarded with ads by targeted marketers, and give away your trends and other data to miners who use your every action to create models, you are working, knowingly or not.

At the very least, you are paying Facebook with your time, and that may be more valuable for some than others, but definitely not free.

It’s as free as a “free holiday” from a timeshare company.

J Taylor

My point was that FB is not a subscription based-entity, where you contractually purchase a level of service.

Facebook is not the only thing out there that monitors your habits…do you have any “buying cards” for your grocery, pharmacy, etc.? Do you use a credit card? All of these things monitor your buying/spending habits quite well. How about your cable TV…do you watch that at all? They easily monitor your viewing habits/demographic and thus affect the advertising commanded by various programs.

So, in all of these cases, you are expending effort to help others sell you stuff and maximize their delivery of services to you while gleaning a profit. Facebook is not alone in this method of marketing. Individuals have to weigh the value of the service provided with what they “pay” to play. In some of these other cases, you are actually forking over money (credit cards and TV) for them to do this to you.

People have to weigh their “work” time on FB – and decide if it is time well spent or if it would be more productive to spend that time elsewhere. My overall point – If FB doesn’t deliver a level of service that you are happy with, you are free to leave.

Rama

I stopped using Facebook, because timeline is so disorganized (it’s a huge “in-your-face” mess. Also, it’s not good for people trying to promote themselves. When I see a profile using timeline, it’s such a mess to try and find stuff, that I don’t even bother, I just close the page and move on. Several other people have told me roughly the same thing (albeit in different words).

[I’m not surprised that their stock is taking a nosedive]

Arsen

Timeline is disorganized? Hell, it still uses the same chronological order as the original Wall ! How can be finding something become SO difficult if the order stuff is organized remains the same?

Xtm

I call bull. The original wall didn’t have your eyes shifting from left, to right, to the center to know what order posts came in.

Chris

It doesn’t have your eyes shifting from left to right. If you observe it a little more, there’s a blue line going down the center of your timeline. Each post has an arrow pointing to a blue dot on that line. The order of posts come in the order of the dots. It’s very simple.

LJ

Timeline DOES force your eyes to go left and right. You can’t keep you eye on the center line and read anything to the left or right.

Cheryl

2 column of information is very hard to read that is why it appears disorganized

Cheryl

2 columns of information is hard to read and thats why it appears disorganized and the very reason I hate it!

Cheryl

oops didn’t mean to enter the message twice

JustMe

Exactly, Rama! I don’t have a lot of time and I loved using Facebook to quickly catch up on my peeps, but like you said, it has your eyes going back and forth while trying to figure out which status is new and which is old!

And, Dave, as for “we don’t make the decisions and can leave,” you’re absolutely right. I’m leaving it, too! “We” may not “own” Facebook but “we” are the ones who made it a success by using it – someone should think about that before forcing unwanted changes.

Ann

I am not crazy about the way timeline looks, mainly because it makes it very difficult to go back through a person’s posts in chronological order when you have to figure out which column the next post is in. HOWEVER, who looks at their timeline, or anyone else’s, on a regular basis? Not me. I will occasionally go to my page to look up a particular friend but that’s about it. And if I friend someone new, I may go to their page and read some of what they posted before we became FB friends. Other than those very rare occasions, I read and post to FB from my news feed, which thankfully has (so far) stayed the same (visually, anyway).

Dave Parrack

I may look at a profile from time to time, but you’d have to be a bit stalkerish to want to read people’s timelines in chronological order.

Ryan

“Stalkerish” is not a great way to make a logical argument for timeline.

Dave Parrack

Perhaps I should have used ‘status updates’ rather than timelines. My point was why would anyone want to through them chronologically, which seems to be one of the main complaints against Timeline.

Ann

If I friend someone, I might want to read back through their status updates to see what they’ve been up to, and sometimes they make more sense in order…that’s all I meant by my original comment. I don’t read very far back, usually, but enough to get a sense of what’s been going on with that person, especially if it’s a hs or college friend that I haven’t seen in a while.

Chris

People will read others’ walls. It’s just how things are.
Reading in chronological order isn’t hard at all either way. Look at the blue line going down the person’s timeline. There are blue dots, and every dot has one post pointing to it. The posts come in the order of those dots.

C. Allman

My brother was using facebook during the time his wife was in the hospital. She had gone in due to complications and she actually flat lined with the baby still in her. During that time the family that couldn’t be there was watching their wall like a hawk looking for updates. Timeline messed things up and actually put old stuff on top of the new which made it confusing and very difficult to see what was the most recent. The family actually ended up asking questions to things my bother has already answered just because his answer was buried in old stuff. I don’t care what you say, timeline is NOT in chronological order and it is a pain in the but and made this situation very difficult.

C. Allman

Actually the biggest problem I have with time-line is that it doesn’t show EVERY post. EVERY post is important to the poster or they wouldn’t have posted it. At the very least they should have all the most recent posts on time-line but they don’t. Time-line itself chooses which posts to show and that is what made my bother’s communication difficult at the time his wife and child were in the hospital. His updates weren’t seen because timeline didn’t think they were important enough to include on the wall.

Dave Parrack

You can still do that though, it just means clicking on More Recent Stories and reading left and right as well as down.

Carla B

I agree with C. Allman. I do click on Most recent and more recent stories and still get random dates, anywhere from hours old to minutes old, none of them in order.
Also as C. Allman wrote, often times posts don’t show up, you have to go to that person’s wall and try to search for a particular post, which is chaotic and time consuming!
That, and the problem of posts that were on the right column all of a sudden jump to the left column.
Yeah, how cool is that, having o read left right right left….up down and zig zag around. Psssst.

Josh Vogler

I’m still not seeing the connection.

If the only difference is that it displays your data in a different way, I don’t see how this has any relation to companies who use that data for marketing decisions. They can form the data however they want when analyzing it, as the data is the same. I’m not sure how that data is displayed on my monitor affects their data analyzing, unless the data they are after is how I navigate through a profile.

I only login to facebook through a web browser about 5 or 6 times a year. I use FriendCaster to read my news-feed 99% of the time, so I have no bias either way as to the ‘classic’ page or the new ‘timeline’ since I never see it.

Dave Parrack

That’s a really good point actually. They should be able to view the data in whatever way they want to. But I assume Timeline is designed the way it is to make us interact more with each other. Thus adding to the amount of data.

Josh Vogler

That’s what I assume. Part of me thinks that the happier someone is with an interface, the more apt they are to use it more often though. The more unfamiliar you are, the longer it takes to do the same task I suppose. Overall I don’t get it because I’ve never clicked on an ad in my life, I don’t know anyone who has ever clicked on an ad, I’ve never bought anything based on an ad. Obviously people do though, or there wouldn’t be advertising.

I would be much more likely to respond to direct advertising. If Facebook came out with an ad saying “Hey everyone, we offer this free…’fill in the blank’ company is sponsoring us, they make it possible. So if you want to support Facebook, support this company, because they support us. While a box in the middle of the screen is the same thing essentially, it doesn’t convey that message.

Dave Parrack

I don’t know anyone who has clicked on an ad on Facebook. But then some will undoubtedly pay out just from being on the site rather than direct clicks.

There are many approaches to advertising but Facebook would be mad not to make use of the data it sources from its 900 million users. I do wonder if the banner advertising/sponsor approach would work though.

Josh Vogler

Well, with there now being stock-holders to appease I’m sure we’ll be seeing everything tried over the next few years.

Dave Parrack

God, yeah. Anyone who hates the rate of change now had better prepare themselves for when the shareholders start making demands.

Choon Khai

Apparently I’m one of them who clicked the ads. I usually ignore ads but, some ad caught my attention, and what I experienced from FB-ads compared to third-party ads, FB-ads don’t have spam related stuff. (From what I clicked)

LJ

The action or interaction occurs on the news feed and ticker. I don’t seem much interaction on Timeline.

Fer

“I would implore you all to stop moaning about Timeline on Facebook”

I don´t understand your particular interest on the subject but if I have to accept it or move on I prefer moving on, FB is a security strainer and this last timeline feature doesn´t help. ¿All for Zuckerberg making money with IPO? No, Thanks don´t wannna loose my time in FB anymore.

Dave Parrack

My particular interest was my girlfriend moaning about finally being forced to switch to Timeline. If you want to move on from Facebook that’s your call.

Damian

I am still on old layout facebook. I still have pop up notification begs me click timelime. I kept ignore it. Few games, I tried to play, but it asked to be in timeline facebook in the order to play. I decided not to play. The news claim facebook will change everyone’s facebook in March 2012. It’s near June 2012, I am still on old layout facebook.

Dave Parrack

They’ve taken to begging you to switch though. I suspect there will come a point when the last few stragglers will be forced to switch whether they want to or not.

Eric

I’m seeing it and I never oked it, so that time has apparently come. I will respond by simply using it less, tightening down my privacy settings and moving on, yet leaving the door ajar. It is a shame really, I have a few relatives I have rediscovered VIA Facebook, and I’ll probably drift into obscurity in their lives and they in mine, my OCD will not permit me to spend time trying to sort the mess that is timeline.

Eric

Guide to Disabling Facebook Timeline in Your Web Browser
The method for viewing Timeline pages in an easier to read single column layout format, for the following web browsers : Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, is listed below : ( If you are using Internet Explorer, i strongly suggest you install one of the previously listed browsers )

First, install the F.B. Purity browser extension, as it adds a function for disabling Facebook Timeline in your browser.
After FB Purity is installed, when you visit Facebook you will see a green “TL” at the top of the page, next to the search box.
FB Purity’s Timeline Disabling Button
Click the green “TL” icon in your browser and FB Purity will disable Timeline for you.

Al

Still on old layout also and dont spend enough time on the site to waste any of it to change over.

BDM

I am a much older user of FB and am still on the old FB layout and will not switch to Timeline voluntarily. I find the Timeline of my FB friends very confusing to “follow” because of the two columns and for that reason actually don’t spend much time on their profiles anymore. It should be made optional OR at least give the FB user other layouts to choose from and/or a way to customize. None of my FB friends who switched like it and wish they could go back. I fully suspect I’ll be forced to the new FB layout eventually. When that happens I’ll just not use it as much anymore.

Katie

BDM, you’ve stated it perfectly! I couldn’t agree more. It’s August and I’m still on the old Facebook style and won’t ever voluntarily go to Timeline. I find Timeline confusing and don’t spend time on my friends sites who have Timeline. I read the newsfeed instead to get most recent postings. Once they change everyone to Timeline, I suspect my time on Facebook will decrease rapidly if not end altogether. But, gee, think of all the time I’ll get back into my evenings and weekends! :)

waiting

Typical article displaying the arrogance that demonstrates just how much “journalist” are out of touch with real people. The issue has been totally beaten to death. Facebook as a business concern is not interested in the least what the users opinions are…as long as they continue to use and therefore pad the pockets via advertisers. The real issue in my mind is that the change in profile viewing format is being forced on users…and yes sir, we do “OWN” our profiles…for we create them, we add to them, we communicate via them, and we can bloody well delete them. Next time your bank sends you a notice that they are going to change the way you interface with your online accounts…and you don’t like it…well, I suggest you “accept it or move on”….just like I will ignore the next article you pen…because in your words…when it comes to you…I’m moving on!

Dave Parrack

The last time I checked I was a real person. You may think you own your profile but Facebook owns and operates the platform that profile exists on. Therefore they can change the format as often as they like. I would just switch banks if that was the case. Whether you read my articles or not is your choice :)

Anonymous Bot Checker

Well, that article of yours does indeed read like it was put together by paid propagandists sorry I meant PR people. If this spewage you (plural) put out does indeed continue then dont be surprised that you will be dismissed as empty psuedo press release.

Dave Parrack

I’m far from a PR person or propagandist. This is just my honest opinion of the situation.

Carla B

Bravo! I also agree with you Anonymous Bot Checker.

waiting

Sorry Dave…but your argument about “who owns the profile” has been contradicted by you…yes…they own the “Platform”…but the profile is indeed mine…just as Microsoft owns the platform called Windows, but the works that I create using their tools are actually mine. Additionally, if you look at the total responses…it would appear that you’re in a minority. Following the recent dismissal by IPO hungry investors towards Facebook…perhaps the rest of the world actually does long for a more user aware venture…and just maybe Facebook will pass slowly into the night after the next “big thing” hits the streets. After all…it’s not Facebook that we are in love with…it’s all that information and the ability to stay in touch. That’s what makes it unique…it’s real people. As for your comment that you “are a real person” is moot…since you represent the journalistic “reviewer” perspective of granting positives or negatives that actually do sway people. To declare that Facebook has the “RIGHT” to switch the presentation format is of course accurate…but whether they should force those changes…..hmmmm…that seems to be the counter argument. Too bad…sometimes new ideas are great…sometimes not so great…ala the Chevy Corvair ;)

Carla B

Kudos! Another great post from Waiting. :)

Carla B

Kudos! Another great post from Waiting. :)

Carla B

Well said Waiting! I fully agree with you.

SmaryJerry

I don’t think that these are the same people complaining as always. My sister started complaining, I’m complaining, everyone I know is complaining. The basic functionality of just figuring out the chronologic order when the posts go side to side is infuriating.

Dave Parrack

I admit the complaining has leaked into the mainstream, but the most vocal are likely to be the same individuals that would have liked Facebook to remain as it was when it was founded. I’m not saying Timeline is perfect but it is what it is.

Peter

No, you’re wrong. The timeline is the worst layout change i’ve ever seen. And I’m seriously considering deleting facebook because of that and I’ve been with facebook for many many years. Only a mentally sick person could invent the timeline. PERIOD

Carla B

I agree SmaryJerry

Liam

I’ll resist Timeline ’til the bitter end.
Partly because I find the layout illogical and confusing, but mainly because I don’t like pushed about and dictated to by big companies.

I don’t buy the whole “it’s free so stop whinging” argument; It may be free for us to use, but with the power that Facebook have, come duties and responsibilities. One of them is to properly serve the users who generate their profits and ultimately make their whole business viable.

Their long-term success will be decided by how well they balance giving people what they want with generating the revenue to make it possible.

If they persevere with pushing people onto Timeline – and other such mis-planned initiatives, then I’ll be glad I stayed away from their IPO…

Dave Parrack

But what’s to say Timeline was a wrong move? All companies force change on their users/customers, whether through price hikes or revamps or ditching product lines. If you don’t like the changes you, as a consumer, can go elsewhere. Facebook is no different.

Liam

If a lot of consumers don’t like the changes, a lot of consumers can go elsewhere. Hardly good for business is it? That’s what I’d call a wrong move.

The internet is a fast-moving place. I dare say Facebook’s successor is not far away, soon to capitalise on Facebook’s every error…

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” would be my advice to Zuckerberg & co. By all means try out new ideas, but make them optional – don’t go forcing people into changes they don’t want.

If my currently preferred supermarket ditches product lines and makes changes I don’t like, I’ll go elsewhere.
Once there’s somewhere else to go, Facebook will be no different.

Dave Parrack

It may make some people delete their accounts but it’s bringing Facebook more advantages. Optional doesn’t work with websites, as explained in the article. There is already an alternative in Google Plus… enjoy :)

Liam

Google?! I’d sooner put up with Timeline than trust that lot with my personal data!

Plenty of websites allow optional ways of displaying their sites, and It seems to work well enough for them and their users.

As for Facebook, the data’s the same, the adverts are the same (at least I assume they are – I use NoScript, AdBlock, etc.), so where’s the problem?

Whatever happened to “the customer is always right”? Any company that ignores this old saying does so at their peril…

Dave Parrack

I recommend Diaspora then… or perhaps even Microsoft’s new social network So.cl! OK, so that was a joke.

By using ad-blockers you are absolutely worthless to Facebook. And yet you still want a say in decisions the company makes?

You’re not a customer as you’re not buying anything from Facebook or making them a cent in revenue. And anyway that saying only refers to complaints over transactions etc. What Facebook has done with Timeline is the equivalent of a store changing its wallpaper. If you complained about that would you expect the store to change it back?

Liam

Whoops – I shouldn’t have mentioned the ad-blocking thing… ;-)

I personally might be worthless to Facebook (unless playing the games makes them money), but my presence on it still helps consolidate their social network.

The difference from your analogy is that I don’t have to physically interact with a store’s wallpaper. However, if the store moved the shelves about so that things were in illogical places, I, and many people, would lose patience and go elsewhere.

At the moment, we have a choice of Facebook ‘stores’ – one which is laid out logically and where we know where things are, and one which doesn’t make much sense but some people seem to like.
This is absolutely fine. Everyone’s happy.

But as I stated originally, what I’m objecting in principle to is the enforced change by a big corporation that affects a lot of people who get no say in the matter.

Yes, it’s their company and they’re entitled to do what they like to a fair degree, but that doesn’t make it *right* to enforce their whims on 900m people.

As for “the customer is always right”, having worked in sales and in retail, I’ve always taken it to mean that the customer’s (or user’s) opinion is valued and respected, and if enough customers say something then it should be considered seriously.
[More cynically, agree that up is down and black is white until they’ve signed the dotted line…]

Besides all this, I appreciate your responses to the comments on your article – That’s not something we see too often on the bigger media sites.

TC

Mark Zuckerberg said HIMSELF that Facebook wasn’t created to make money, they needed money to make Facebook better for their users. And, do not quote me on the exact syntax of the above statement, but that WAS, in fact, the message.
Would you not say that the new timeline feature is not as user-friendly as the original layout was? And, if the site was founded on the basis of it being as user-friendly as possible, then there would be no need to create a new layout. The rate of new users will begin to plateau, at which point, one would think it would be in Facebook’s “best interest” to MAINTAIN those users. What kind of business module is based on “If you don’t like it, move on”? I’ve yet to see one. We are ALL aware of your redundant ideal that, since we don’t pay for Facebook, we have not a leg to stand on as far as the layout is concerned. But, without the users, there would be no Facebook. Without us, there would have been no demand for their IPO and to be traded publicly (which failed, by the way). Without us, there would be no need to even have CHANGED to interface of the website. The users are WHAT MAKE Facebook, it’s really not that difficult to understand. So, if Facebook wants to maintain users, you would think that their best bet would be to make us happy. Facebook Beacon failed – they removed the option. Granted, I understand this was due to problematic security issues. But, they didn’t try to “improve” the feature: they removed it. And that feature was even OPTIONAL! Timeline is not. And, so, for you to say that the people who complain about the timeline are probably the people who complain about ANY changes, big or small, made on the interface or in the way users connect and interact, I would, in layman’s terms say, “duh”. If you were an original Facebook user, and your comfortable little (obviously not so little anymore) had been rearranged, changed, updated, and publicly traded, um, yes, quite obviously these people are going to complain about the changes; “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
And, as I stated before, the new user rate has begun to plateau. And, at that point, you begin to look for ways to retain. You don’t tell your “users” – because I know you will adamantly deny we are “customers” – “Hey, don’t like it? Move on.” That’s heinous. Facebook is now a company; no company that has been successful has ever had this notion.

Look at MySpace: it’s not at all what it was when it was first launched and now it is a running joke.

Carla B

Well said Liam and TC. :) Exactly the point- if it weren’t for us “users”, then Facebook wouldn’t exist!

Eric

“What Facebook has done with Timeline is the equivalent of a store changing its wallpaper. ”

What Facebook has done with Timeline is the equivalent of a store changing its shelves from parallel to the walls to diagonal to them. Yes, I’d complain, and have in the case of Biglots, and won. After they lost a good % of their revenue, from people just shopping elsewhere, they changed it back.

Dave Parrack

You’re right, you have worth as a number. But nothing beyond that. I’ve seen many stores move their layouts around but you do get used to it after a while. The same is true of Timeline.

I’m no big fan of corporations or them being able to throw their weight around. But Internet companies are a strange breed, especially those that offer a completely free service that no one is forced to use. In that context I feel they can somewhat do what they like in terms of layout. I’m more concerned with their privacy and data protection policies.

I will always respond to well-written comments, whether they agree with my opinion or not. I’m sure my boss would prefer me to be writing more articles but there you go ;)

Wendy

I’m still using the old facebook interface. I find the “timeline” pages confusing and disorienting. But if the powers that be decide to change everybody over to the new look so be it. I’m not whining and I’m not complaining (and I take exception to the accusation that I am). I’m simply not changing over until I have too.

Dave Parrack

That’s fair enough, and I apologize if any offense was taken. I believe Facebook is right to force everybody over but it’s your right to hold out until the bitter end :)

Melvin Fudpucker

I use Social Fixer for Firefox and Adblock Plus, so I don’t see any ads or time line!

Evas

Instead of Timeline,they should make something that users want,for example,dislike button,list of people unfriend us,etc

Dave Parrack

None of those features help Facebook build their business though.

Jeff

Sure they do. Now who is being short-sighted? If there is a ‘dislike’ button, and enough people have ‘disliked’ [something] or [someone], then we all will know what (or whom) to avoid.

In that respect, we begin to weed out the ‘bad’ and/or ‘disreputable people and products’ and only the ‘majority of likes’ remains in place – i.e., ‘creme of the crop,’ so to speak.

I’m just sayin’ …

Dave Parrack

There’s a reason Facebook has avoided instituting a Dislike button. Can you imagine us all disliking a company that advertises with Facebook?

TC

But, you’re against big corporations………….

TC

I COMPLETELY agree, Jeff. OF COURSE, it helps build their “business”! Their business is based on the USERS! Dave claims to be against “big corporations” but, his staindpoint on the whole issue is that we, in essence, “get over it” because all Facebook is trying to do is “build their business”. A little backwards, in my opinion. Just because we press a “dislike” button on a company’s site that sponsors Facebook doesn’t mean we dislike it any less. We would have disliked it BEFORE, it’s just that no one would have known about it. Facebook could use the “dislike” information to help find sponsors or advertisers that we DO like.

Ding!

Chad English

With all due respect, this article is an incredibly lousy argument.

It is a wonderful argument for what Facebook should want to force people to use Timeline. As you say, they are out for their own interests and to make money. Wonderful.

However, I am not them. Arguments about why they should want things are not arguments about why I should want them. I am out for my own interests, and there isn’t a single argument in your article about why it is in my best interest to switch.

If Facebook decides for force it on everyone out of their own interest, that is their prerogative. If and when they do that, that is the time I will have to decide whether to accept it or move on. Right now I have a third option which is to keep the old format, and it is my personal interest to do so.

And, for the record, if millions of people protest and whine and complain that is the prerogative of those people too, and if Facebook acquiesces in response to keep from bad press or poor public relations, that is their prerogative.

You are effectively telling people to shut up and do what is in somebody else’s best interest instead of their own. In economics, that is the exact definition of irrational behaviour.

Dave Parrack

With all due respect the title of the article says it all. I’m not arguing why you should capitulate, just why Facebook is right to force everybody on to Timeline. Which it will do eventually.

The ultimate point is that Facebook can do what it likes with its own platform. It doesn’t owe its users anything. It’s there to provide a service and to make money, not to please those who choose to maintain a profile on its servers.

Chad English

I re-read the article from the beginning and you are mostly right so I retract the objection for the main part.

However, I responded after reaching the end, and the end isn’t about Facebook’s interests. You say, “there must be millions still holding off from switching to Timeline, even though the change of layout was first unveiled last September. I think it’s time for those holding off from switching to either accept the changes or move on.”

You then talk about people having a sense of entitlement, and conclude by imploring people to stop moaning about it. But if moaning about it is in their own best interest they should actually keep it up. If they can keep it up, and spread that moaning, and get enough other Facebook users to moan about it, then it will become in Facebook’s own interests to pay attention to these moaners for the same reason as you say: money.

Essentially, what is happening is the rationally correct thing from all sides from their own best interests point of view. I implore people to continue what they are doing on that basis.

Dave Parrack

Thank you, I respect the retraction.

Complaining about this is pointless though, as Facebook will not change it back. They have never changed anything. They are a company that provides a free platform. There is no obligation to use that platform and there are alternatives. Ultimately I feel that complaining on the grounds of entitlement is unjustified.

Claire

But Chad did not promote complaining on the grounds of entitlement. He said that if people keep complaining, then FB may re-evaluate what is in their best interest.
If people leave FB, then the value of FB to advertisers goes down.
You are probably correct that FB will not “change it back”, but there is a reasonable chance that they can be persuaded to make some changes that will make the format more palatable to users — not to make users happy, but to make their user database more valuable to their actual customers.

Chad English

Thanks Dave. But what your point seems to come down to is that you find complainers annoying and that’s it. Any movement or protest, whether against governments or private companies, is about trying to get a critical mass of people such that the organization will pay attention or suffer financial consequences.

You say people can leave. Indeed they can. And if a movement can turn that exodus in 100 million people it will seriously hurt Facebook’s bottom line. And then you can write an article on how it’s in Facebook best interest to allow people to use the classic format.

Like you, I think it will fail to get critical mass. But I don’t fault them for trying for as long as they can. Rolling over and shutting up isn’t really a virtue or in people’s best interests.

Dave Parrack

No, I don’t find complainers annoying. I just question whether they’re right to think they have a say in what Facebook is doing with its own platform.

Perhaps I should have left that segment out of the article. People can complain all they want but Facebook has switched to Timeline for a reason, and as a company they’re allowed to do so. Social networks seem to generate a sense of entitlement that you just wouldn’t get with an online retailer or news site.

Jeff

I disagree with a large part of your conjecture. You/Me/We *PAY* Facebook’s employees their salaries, so we definitely should have a say.

More recently as a ‘public company,’ we TRULY ‘more directly’ pay their salaries (those of us who own stock).

Now, outside of stock owners, the Joe User on Facebook pays their salaries as well, because, without users, the advertisers’ products and services would go unpurchased, and so Facebook employees would not get paid (in the most extreme example).

Your ‘apples-to-oranges’ comparison to an on-line retailer doesn’t play out, because we visit a retailer for a quick purchase – we don’t “DWELL AND SET UP FURNITURE AND BUY PRODUCTS FROM THE ADVERTISERS” as we do on a social site like facebook Even those with AdBlock who are ‘just a number,’ still play a HUGE role because, the more people they get to join facebook, the better off facebook is – in that regard, it is the largest, most successful “pyramid scheme” ever to have been perpetrated on the human race.

Chad English

It’s funny how differently we see things. I find the phrase “sense of entitlement” as a completely made up term to make complaints or expressions of preferences sounds like something is wrong with the person complaining.

Functionally, can you explain the difference between somebody who complains because they dislike changes that are made or prefer things a different way versus somebody who complains because they have a “sense of entitlement”?

The only difference I see is the former implies that people are individuals will individual preferences and are allowed to voice those preferences, and the latter implies people are subservient children who need to learn to shut up and take what is given to them by their masters.

If I may steal that technique, I find businesses like Facebook, and their apologists, have a sense of entitlement to do what they want, when they want, for whatever reason they want without having to deal with complaints from anyone.

Facebook offers a service to users in exchange for the ability to make money off of their usage. Of course users have the right to complain about changes. So does anybody whether a user or not. And Facebook has the right to listen to or ignore them. That’s the great thing about free speech and free markets. It also allows blog authors to tell them to shut up and others to tell the blog authors they’re wrong.

TC

You said in YOUR OWN PIECE that “Faceook NEEDS it users to accept the changes”. It NEEDS it. Well, I’ll be darned! I thought we, as non-shareholders and as simple “users”, had no value to Facebook. Well, by all means, if that’s the case then they shouldn’t need us to change a damn thing! :)

Adrian Bailey

“FB doesn’t owe its users anything” is a ridiculous statement. Zuckerberg wouldn’t be a billionaire if his platform didn’t have any users.

FB has changed before, people have complained, and we got over it. Changing the homepage to look like the Twitter feed, for example, seemed a bit desperate, but it quickly proved a sensible move. The Timeline thing is different. Timeline has existed for months and the balance of opinion is still that “Timeline sucks”. Plain and simple, it’s bad design. People will get used to it, but it’ll remain a thorn in our side. And now that FB has shareholders to keep happy, maybe, just maybe, it would be wise to keep the users happy too.

Cean Lumbaca

At first I loathe the Timeline, but in the end, I got used to it. :)

Right, accept it or move on. :)

Sergiu

If very many of us move on, you will have to move on with us… if you see what I mean

Ali Lou

After seeing my sisters timeline I wanted it so could put my own pic in and make it look like my site . Just changed to it. I like MySpace because you can customize it and prefer it to facebook. Maybe facebook will allow a git more customizing, think tiimeline move is an improvement and makes facebook not so boring

Dave Parrack

Part of MySpace’s problem was the level of customization they allowed. Timeline is good in that it allows a few things to be changed but still within the bounds of the layout.

Murachai

should have the option of turning it On and OFF !!

Scutterman

I end up saying the same thing every time Facebook makes a change. Use it for a month, I can guarantee that you won’t have any issues with it after that. My proof? The layout they’re crying* so hard about loosing is the same one they were hating on when it appeared. In the space of 6 months people go from “This is terrible” to “This is the best thing ever and I don’t want it to go away”. Any complaints after a month of use are usually valid, but before then, annoying.

*Crying as in “the boy who cried wolf”

Dave Parrack

I agree, but then you knew that already :) If you use something regularly then you quickly get used to it.

Carla B.

I was forced to switch to Timeline 3 months ago! I detest Timeline, as does the majority who had Timeline foisted upon them.
There are many reasons why we Timeline “haters” can’t just up and quit, so don’t even go there.

Scutterman

I don’t believe I said anything about quitting?

But anyway, Facebook has to make a balance. They are constantly trying new things and gauging the reaction to it.
If they find that a large percentage of the userbase doesn’t like timeline, they will scrap it. It wouldn’t be the first time they did that, though reading about how they test and roll out, it doesn’t seem like they need to very often.

Overall, Facebook is constantly changing it’s look, it’s just a matter of time before they change it again. Eventually Timeline will be gone. Or you could just start using an addon to change the appearance to something you prefer.

Redgrave Anthony

It’s not a vocal minority and those are not the same people as before. I for one used to like all the other changes.
But Timeline is just shit. All your posts go from left to right and viceversa and it makes everything more confusing than it should be.
That’s the feature that just sucks.
Besides, Zuckerberg just forces everyone to adapt to his visions. Why couldn’t he allow anyone to use any kind of profile/theme they wanted? But then again who cares… almost a billion users soon, no matter if probably half of them are bots or just users that never come back.

jerryT

“Many people hate Timeline, but then they’re the same people who have hated all the various changes Facebook has made to the site through the years.”

Dave,

How do you verify this kind of information?

I assume you did not gather any data or use any kind of scientific method to do so.

Isn’t your article here more or less the same breed as other articles that bemoan the timeline? It’s just so much hot air—with a touch of arrogance to boot.

It’s just your meaningless opinion, and another reason why I’m taking the makeuseof articles out of my reader.

Dave Parrack

This is an opinion piece as it states clearly in the title. If you want to avoid these types of article in the future just avoid clicking on any with ‘[Opinion]’ in the title.

I have seen every change Facebook has made over the years met with a barrage of complaints. I clearly can’t verify it’s the same individuals but there are people who hate change.

Mika

I am still using the old layout and have resisted the change to timeline. I find it to present to much info at once making it confusing and disorienting.

This is actually the fist update from Facebook that I have really disliked (I have never “complained” or “whined” about Facebook before) and may actually stop using when timeline is forced upon me.

I do agree that they are within their rights to change whatever they want but I disagree that people should not complain about changes that they do not like.

Facebook has in the past listened to users complaints and backtracked its changes.

Facebook is its users without them Facebook is not.

epiquestions

Yeah this article comes off as a bit arrogant. Wish there are ways to downvote articles. Makeuseof authors/articles are coming off as preachy and arrogant these days so I’m going to take the author’s advice and just move on from makeuseof.

To say that a facebook user is useless/worthless and have no say whatsoever is ridiculous. It is the users that made facebook popular. You can have a great platform but if no one uses, it would not generate money.

The reason why some people act like sheep is because they are too busy playing games on facebook to care about those changes. So those changes don’t really affect facebook in terms of generating more income. But take away the games from facebook and it would cripple if not kill it. The games are the major draw to facebook and is one of the reasons facebook is making money.

Jeff

I agree. Dave, you should not have generalized that these are the same ‘haters’ as before – because you have no basis of fact nor evidence on which to base that fictional statistic.

No, I am NOT the ‘same hater.’ I never hated any of the other changes. This is the first and only ‘hate’ that I have had for facebook.

Which brings up your SECOND WRONG POINT: YES – Facebook DID change some things back – so, again, PLEASE avoid broad generalizations like “Facebook never changes anything back.” Indeed, this VERY SAME ISSUE was “changed back,” or have been ‘hiding under a rock?’ Facebook even apologized for the whole previous mess of “Profile 2.0″ as it was sometimes called – when they originally changed the profiles and got a then-HUGE uproar about changing them. So this really is not new and they did, indeed, reverse the changes they had made (can’t remember all the details, but Google it, if you don’t remember). Now, it may be that, eventually they got the changes done, but not before ‘eating crow’ for quite some time.

Dave Parrack

They changed minor things that were more aesthetic than actually something designed to help grow engagement and increase revenue.

epiquestions

Yeah this article comes off as a bit arrogant and the author comes off as condescending and arrogant even in the comments. Wish there are ways to downvote articles and/or authors. Makeuseof authors/articles are coming off as preachy and arrogant these days so I’m going to take the author’s advice and just move on from makeuseof.

To say that a facebook user is useless/worthless and have no say whatsoever is ridiculous. It is the users that made facebook popular. You can have a great platform but if no one uses, it would not generate money.

The reason why some people act like sheep is because they are too busy playing games on facebook to care about those changes. So those changes don’t really affect facebook in terms of generating more income. But take away the games from facebook and it would cripple if not kill it. The games are the major draw to facebook and is one of the reasons facebook is making money.

Dave Parrack

Just pick and choose which authors/articles you wish to read. Or avoid articles with [Opinion] in the title.

My reference to a Facebook user being worthless is one that has ad-blockers installed. They’re essentially using a site for free without even letting it make revenue from advertising. The same is true of MakeUseOf.

You’re correct that if no one uses a platform then it dies, but it’s still Facebook’s call to make changes as it sees fit. If those changes then lead to people leaving the site that’s Facebook’s problem. Companies make strategic decisions all the time, and this is just one of those.

Billy harber

Yeah the public option has shown a lot about facebook how much is it down from it’s opining price 10% but I bet you and the other leeches haven’t lost any money. I guess there’s just not as many fools out there that you thought there was . As far as timeline goes I couldn’t honestly say whether I have it or not and truthfully I could care less so your threats and intimidation’s don’t mean shit to me.

Dave Parrack

How am I a leech? I don’t even own any Facebook shares. And please point out the threats and intimidation?

Jeff

Dave, please don’t be ‘naive’ on top of arrogant! He means that you are a ‘leech’ in the respect that you are MAKING MONEY from using the words “Facebook” and “Timeline” in your title – thus, in a sense, you are ‘leeching off the popularity and/or infamy’ of Facebook.

I hope that’s intuitively casual to the most oblivious observer. ;-)
Jeff

Dave Parrack

Unless I write purely about subjects no one has ever heard of then yes, I guess I am a leech by your definition of the term.

However, despite what you may think this was an article conceived organically from a conversation I had with my girlfriend, and I believe what I have said in it.

XF25

I think the old format looks better than Timeline since I like one column viewing but Parrack did share several good points why the change is valid for Facebook like about money and “accept it or move on”.

David Commini

I don’t buy it, sorry. I have a few friends who have left Facebook because of the unwanted updates. To me the new Timeline looks and feels too much like Myspace. I left Myspace for Facebook because of how different they were. So, when Facebook finally slaps Timeline on my profile I’m calling it quits and using Google + exclusively.

And I really wouldn’t have a problem if they gave you the option to revert back to the previous look, or all of the previous looks. Most people I know like to have options, they like to feel like they are in control, so when you take away their freedom of choice they get mad and want to leave. That is not good for business.

Dave Parrack

You’ve understood though. Facebook has done something to suit themselves. If you don’t like it then you move on. That’s the same for any business.

Do you really think Facebook could operate with people using different sets of features dependent on which updates and changes they like and don’t like?

David Commini

I think that if they really cared about their business that they could make it happen. But it seems like they have a big head just because they are on top. What happens when the rest of the people get fed up with the unwanted changes and flee to another social site? If it’s not good for business then it really doesn’t suit them at all.

Dave Parrack

Then Facebook will die, the same as all businesses eventually do. You could look at it as they’re doing things to annoy users, while they will be thinking they’re evolving to stay on top. It’s horses for courses.

All businesses make decisions, some good, some bad.

TC

Sooo, now you’re admitting that businesses make good and bad decisions, although you said timeline was in Facebook’s “best interest”? Please, don’t be naive to admit that you can clearly see the holes in this very shallow argument. Dave, what multi-million or even multi-billion dollar businesses are you referring to that have “died”? Microsoft isn’t as prominent as it has been in years past, but will it ever die? Do you honestly think so? Apple was never a leading company until relatively recently. Do you think one day it will eventually truly just be obsolete? Do you honestly? And, your module of “businesses” in regards to Facebook shouldn’t even be compared to companies which physical products, meaning not based online. Facebook has made a revolutionary mark and, therefore, should tread lightly on the way they treat their users. They’ve set a precedence and should be wise to make sure they don’t “die”.

Victor Ong

I must say that the timeline isn’t TERRIBLE, it’s just not the best. It is really difficult for me to find something that someone else posted on what USED TO BE my “wall.” I wished that facebook gave us the option to switch between formats rather than force us all to use this one.

Dave Parrack

I don’t think it’s brilliant, but it’s not something worth worrying about.

Stefan

My biggest problem with timeline is that now the double colums are so thin that some Youtube videos will not play saying “player too small” – that is a pretty big fail when you can’t even browse videos on your own page. Also, square cropping of the pics look terrible. Keep the header image, that’s about the only thing people like.

Fuad Saud

It’s not only visual, I think. It changes the way data is structured and the shown to you.

Facebook’s Timeline is a great move in Zuckerberg’s plan of making it the “database of everything”. The idea is going to be mapping and storing information about your whole life, keeping track of it and offering an API for other’s applications to get access to this information, so you can get one source for everything, favoring ubiquity and stuff…

Kind of conspiration theory, but a great move in the data tracking management field

Andre Hutson

Facebook is free to do what it wants, but some updates feel like change just for changing sake. 50% of the time I am one of those moaners. This time around I simply find Timeline ugly and going back through the timeline can be a slow process, though arguably, very little clicking is needed and at least you can pinpoint a month.

I cannot think of a way for it to be laid out in way that would be pleasing to the eye(mine at least) right now so I can’t offer suggestions. But, it has displeased me enough for me to search for and use extensions to remove it from my sight. And the only other change that made me do that was the theatre mode for pictures.

Nishanth Kl

I’m just using extensions so it the timeline looks like the old facebbok page

Dave Parrack

That’s a good workaround, and better than complaining.

Ratnesh Sonar

i hate facebook time line thats why i use timeline remover (an extension of chrome) to get rid of it…….

Tamara Aliment Dayley

I wasn’t too keen on the timeline thing either but since I started using it I have changed my mind. The format is more organized & it’s a lot easier to use than I thought it was going to be! I like it I guess!

Angel747

Any one remember Myspace! Is Facebook a DODO?

Angel747

Anyone remember Myspace! Is Facebook just a floating, soon to be dodo?

Dave Parrack

One of the reasons MySpace failed was the freedom to customize profiles as users saw fit. Facebook at least doesn’t have that issue.

Kottra

Timeline SUCKS!

William

I personally never really did care about the changes Facebook has made to their design over the years but honestly, I can’t stand timeline. I do agree with your article however in that you should “put up or shut up” but unfortunately, I’m more of a whiner than a merger. Timeline is just not for me and many other people in the world I suppose.

Dave Parrack

If it’s not for you then you have the freedom to stop using the product. That’s the point that I think you get :)

Pariah

Having the right to do something and being right to do so are two entirely different things.
I just want to know this: Just who do you think you are to tell people to shut up? No, FB users do not have any authority over FB but every single user certainly has the right to express an opinion and it is the poor business manager who ignores user feedback.
Facebook can be discribed in many ways but the bottom line is FB has value because it is the current “cool site” and that is based entirely on the way users percieve FB. Aquireing the image of a company that does not care about it’s users is something that can kill an outfit like FB that has no real value but exists just because people want to be on the site.
So, sure, FB has the right to do what ever they want regarding the user experience they provide, but they would be wise to tread lightly. “Cool” is a very fragile thing that can blow away like a whisp of smoke.

Dave Parrack

I explained in the article why they’re right to force this feature on everybody.

This is an opinion piece. I can tell people why I think they need to stop moaning, they can use the comments section to argue the opposite. That’s free speech for you.

Actually Facebook is no longer the cool site. Youngsters are moving on to pastures new. But that isn’t because Facebook introduced Timeline or ignored pleas to change it back.

This may end up being a bad decision but it’s Facebook’s right to make that decision.

William

To be honest, that confuses me like crazy. Do you mean that I’m the only reason I haven’t moved on? The point is though that Facebook is still the way to socialise for my friends and I and it is practically a habit [bordering addiction] for a possibly large number of people.

Dave Parrack

If you’re addicted to Facebook then that should worry you more than either timeline or some random guy’s opinion that it’s actually not that bad!

William

Well, I more or less just wanted to voice my opinion. I am in no way addicted to Facebook however, just my friends.

Les Moreno

Your attitude is scary. Facebook almost lost its customers because of privacy concerns. Companies need to listen to their customers or the customers WILL move on. I found your article arrogant.

Dave Parrack

How is my attitude “scary?” Timeline has nothing to do with privacy. I’ve also had privacy concerns with Facebook in the past but I knew I’d either have to accept them or delete my account.

You’re not actually disagreeing with me. If Facebook decides not to listen to its customers and ends up losing them then that’s a business decision. But it’s still Facebook’s decision to make. They could also decide to start charging, it’s their choice. In the same way it’s your choice to then stay or go.

I fail to see how a ‘take it or leave it’ argument is arrogant. I could argue it’s arrogant to expect a company to change something or reverse a decision based on the views of a vocal minority.

Simon Slangen

I remember the horror I felt when Google Images did an extreme makeover some time back. Didn’t have as big a problem with timeline. It’s a good display case to quickly check someone out, and isn’t that the reason you’d be looking at a profile instead of the news feed?

Dave Parrack

That’s very true, you’re unlikely to ever want or need to look at your own timeline. Did you consider switching to Bing when Google changed Images? I’m guessing not lol.

Carlos Anzoátegui

Nicely done. People think that their profile is in their total possession, but like you said, that isn’t the case. Facebook owns those profiles, not the users. It’s a little price to pay, but if it’s too daunting for one to use, then they’re better off deactivating. It’s very nice to see someone with my same point of view on this issue. Why is it so bad? Everyone’s still getting their posts just in a different way, as you stated.

Shawn

Carlos, they may own the profile but they don’t own my data, and that is my biggest complaint with timeline. I just want an easier method of hiding/deleting old post than trying to go through ever single individual one. I guess there is the option of just deleting and starting over. That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.

Miranda

Timeline isn’t that organized. But I moved on and countinued to be on Facebook. But soon I feel I’m gonna write in a report to Facebook because I know a friend who knows a person the Facebook Team or somethin.

Shawn

Lol unfortunately I’m one of the whiners that dislikes timeline. Yes, I do dislike it cosmetically. Facebook before was more like a clean, easy to read resume. You wanted to learn a little about a person, hop to there page and get a quick run down. IMO now it’s so convoluted.

However, that’s not the biggest problem that I have with timeline. It’s the fact that you have limited control over who sees your previous post. Yes, people could always see them before but it was a lot more difficult. Now, a friend that I met yesterday at the coffee shop can go and click on the year 2006 and see what I was doing the day before Halloween. Personally, I think it’s really creepy. If there were an easy way to go through hide ever thing before a certain date or something along those lines, I wouldn’t care so much, but as it is it isn’t.

Yes, I tried the going through and manually hiding things. For starters, it takes FOREVER. I have had a profile since 2006. It was taking an unbelievably insane crazy amount of time. At one point I thought, ‘hey, I got all of this month x in year y, let me go back and check just to be sure.’ And I’ll be dam*e# if somehow I missed some of the post.

On another note. I have never understood that attitude of sucking it up, deal with it or move on. While yes, we are not paying customers in the traditional sense, we are providing them with a currency or a different sort; specifically we are providing them with tons of personal data to turn around and use to make money.

Your suggestion is to either accept the beating or run away. At least that’s what I’m getting. Instead, why not turn around and bite them. Let’s say you have children. They are misbehaving. By your argument we should either just accept that they are going to misbehave or kick them out. Lol ok, maybe that’s being silly, but it was funny in my head.

Ok, back to the point. The thing is, Facebook wants you, me and all 80 billion whiners there. And if we let them, they will run roughshod all over us. They will change whatever they want, be it privacy agreements, layouts or whatever. The only way we can stop them from doing that is to voice our dissent. Now, yes somethings are less important than others, but the fact that people complain is important in itself. Telling people just to accept it and move on isn’t necessarily the best method.

Dave Parrack

Thank you for the measured tone in response to the article. I appreciate your opinion and I’m glad you chose to express it.

You make a good point on removing old content, but I guess it suggests we should be more careful with what we put on Facebook in the first place.

Not a great analogy but it did me a giggle as well. Everyone is entitled to complain, of course they are. But I very much doubt it will do any good at this stage. And action speaks louder than words. If everybody deleted their accounts tomorrow then Facebook would pay the price for what many people clearly see as a mistake. That is the ultimate power we hold over companies. If we don’t like their product we don’t buy (or in Facebook’s case, use) it.

Shawn

Ahhh, but that’s that all or nothing attitude. Instead we can use the product and try and mold it so to speak.

No, I won’t be leaving Facebook. However! I will be trying to influence them nonetheless. I found an Android app called exfoliate (i think) and it goes through and deletes all your old post, comments, pictures, etc from a set date back. Now it’s not ideal, but it’s going to take care of the problem that I have with timeline. Plus, hopefully the loss of four years worth of personal information will make Facebook slightly unhappy. I have of course taken the time to let them know my irritation and the resulting actions.

Of course just one person isn’t going to matter but if other people follow similar approaches then maybe they will compromise with us. Keeping in mind they can’t compromise if we all leave. Nor will they attempt to compromise if we don’t complain.

Ilona

I really like timeline. I think the layout gives you a lot more chance to make your space more personal, allowing you two pictures for example (your display picture and banner picture). I also think it’s more organised so you can see exactly where things were posted in comparison to other items and I just think that it’s over all more clearly displayed.

MIKE

I dont hate time line. I hate face book. The entire thing is absurd and will collapse.

GamE

I am not crazy about the way timeline looks, mainly because it makes it very difficult to go back through a person’s posts in chronological order when you have to figure out which column the next post is in. HOWEVER, who looks at their timeline, or anyone else’s, on a regular basis? Not me. I will occasionally go to my page to look up a particular friend but that’s about it. And if I friend someone new, I may go to their page and read some of what they posted before we became FB friends. Other than those very rare occasions, I read and post to FB from my news feed, which thankfully has (so far) stayed the same (visually, anyway).

GamE

old theme was better

Bill

I have no plans to change. I use less than 10% of offered features and think changes
just for the sake of making changes or tailoring advertising to my my profile are stupid. Yes I can abandon my account but why should I? If FaceBook wants they can terminate my account, I could care less. I have no interest in social websites and only manitain an account to stay in contact with my Sons. E-mail works just as well!

Harish Kumar

because it is seen by others

Donna B

I left a comment on here a few days ago and now i don’t see it so I am not sure if it even posted. My comment was That I have both timeline and the old layout and I love it. I couldn’t be any happier. When I click on my profile picture it takes me to my timeline, where I have it all fixed up the way I want it, When I click on home, it takes me back to the old layout and thats where I spend most of my time. Here is my main reasoning for not wanting to switch all totally to timeline, I play alot of games and when a friend that plays the same game share a gift, I have the opportunity to grab it, but I notice a gift on old layout and I jump over to timeline, for some reason that gift isn’t there, and this happens alot. I don,t see everyone elses post on my timeline, mainly just mine. I can only hope that mine will stay as is. Thanks for letting me share my opinion.

Tina

Donna,

All comments go into moderation. It’s possible that your comment was approved in the meantime. If not, it must have been trashed or spammed.

Donna Barton

I have both timeline and the old layout, when I click on my profile pic, it takes me to timeline, and when I hit the home button, it takes me back to the old layout. I love it cause I got the best of both worlds. The only problem I would have with just having timeline is I’m a game player so I am always looking for the one who are sharing gifts, and I notice when a gift is on my old wall, when i click over to my timeline its not there. I mainly only see my own stuff on my timeline.

Ari

I hate Timeline. And it looks as if they have abandoned forcing people to switch because i still have a normal page. I am young and computer savvy but i have not looked at someone’s wall with the new timeline for almost 8 months… it is just too confusing. I don’t know whether to read the right or the left side or just exactly what all that mess is. I am glad they are no longer forcing it. I suppose they realize it was a failed experiment. If for some reason I am wrong and they do switch me, i will leave that large photo blank in protest… :)

Dave Parrack

You’ll be switched eventually. I can’t quite understand how the new layout is confusing. It shows recent updates at the top, just in two columns instead of one. Was there ever a need to view updates in perfect chronological order?

Ari R.

And just to add to my previous post… I would bet that I am not the only one that feels this way about the new wall. Traffic must be down. And the About, which used to be called Info, is so small… how does anyone over the age of 50 even know it’s there? I’m 40 and as I recall, it took me about 10 minutes to try and find “About” someone. The traffic on that page must be way down, as well. What a poor layout. Like a said, “failed experiment”. I’m sticking to the old FB.

Chantal Bell

I was never given a choice. I logged in and there it was! Actually, I was given the choice to switch early, but that in 10 or so days (?) it would be automatic. And it WAS automatic, no choice. I’m not crazy about the new timeline.
It’s not fair that some get to keep the old.

Taylor Wheatley

i love how people have said that is a mandatory update and stuff but i still havent been updated to it and dont plan to as im happy with the old layout.

Sri Swaminathan Vanarasi

even i felt the same at first when i was using the old layout until i updated to the new layout… initially i didnt feel good but as time passes now i’m enjoying the new timeline.. so go ahead and give a try:)

Taylor Wheatley

If you didn’t read my previous comment I’m happy with the old layout so I will not ever update it.

Dave Parrack

You’ll be forced to eventually. Without trying the new layout how do you know you won’t like it more than the old?

Taylor Wheatley

Yes when I’m forced to I will have to use it but I’m not going to update it until then because I don’t have to.

Nicholas Henson

what Steve responded I am amazed that you able to get paid $8751 in one month on the internet. have you read this web page makecash16com

Sri Swaminathan Vanarasi

initially i didnt like the new time line look …
but it took some time to get adjust to it and now i enjoying the new timeline and hope it gets better and better

Dylan

Maybe its difficult for them to maintain two different styles, so they want everyone to choose the new one and get rid of the old style.

Dave Parrack

That’s right, they need everybody to be on the same page for various reasons.

beat

Sounds like you bought Facebook stock, my friend.

Most of my friends loved FB because it didn’t represent a “big corporation.” It was also a simple format/interface without bombarding it’s users with ads. It didn’t feel like they were selling our information unscrupulously.

Remember Myspace? Didn’t think so. Everyone left it. Queue crickets. I was just forced into Timeline today. I’m out.

Dave Parrack

Nope, no Facebook stock here unfortunately. I do remember MySpace, and why did that fail? Because it became an absolute mess thanks to everybody being able to edit the way their profile looked. The lesson being that Facebook is right in keeping everyone on the same page.

Anne

Is Facebook going to ‘force’ me to switch? I don’t have strong opinions about Timeline, but am waiting to switch until FB forces me to. I don’t understand the medial alerts for the past several months about FB forcing Timeline on its users.

Tina

Anne,

Facebook should have already forced you to switch to Timeline.

Dave Parrack

I’m very surprised you haven’t been forced to switch. Everybody I know has already.

Chase

I have not been forced to switch and I’m going to wait as long as possible. When this switch is forced, I plan on putting in a full good faith effort for 7 days; if I still don’t like it after that, I’m out. It would be a voluntary choice, with no complaints and no resentment. I don’t think I deserve more as a user. Facebook should be able to do whatever it wants with my account. When I signed up, I’m sure I waived many rights bigger than how I want my profile to look.

Malachi

I am using an email different that my Facebook email to avoin the possible addition of undesired/unwanted friends. I disagree with you about forcing timeline. I am one of the holdouts and will remain so. I have seen Timeline and don’t like. It is my account, despite your claim, and I want it displayed how I want. Even Y! give you options as to what content is displayed and how. If they gave us that option, I might consider it. Until then I remain a hold out and if they ever make it mandatory, then bye bye. However, if there are millions of hold outs as you suggest, then they will not make it mandatory because if even half of those millions leave, they lose millions of potential customers for flash their ads at.

Never take Timeline!!!

Inferno

You couldn’t be anymore wrong about saying the people who hate Timeline are the same people that hate every change. This is the first change that Facebook has made that I hate.

Dave Parrack

Fair comment. Timeline does seem to have pushed people’s buttons like no other change ever has.

Jimmy Rustler

There isn’t one single benefit to timeline. It’s God awful and fucking ugly. This is de-evolution and the only reason it’s being forced unto us is because some marketing faggot thinks people are more likely to click those shitty ads if they’re in your face at the right side of the screen.

Carla B.

I agree Jimmy.

John

Goodbye Facebook, hello Google+. Millions of us will switch. Facebook’s stock lost 50% of its value? Wait a few more months and you’ll wish you had sold when it had ONLY lost 50%.

Dave Parrack

Me? I don’t own any Facebook shares. Many analysts think the stock price will drop a little more before bouncing back though, and I wouldn’t bet against that.

Ed

The sense I get is the majority of people don’t hate Timeline, they despise it. As do I. I also get the sense there are a LOT of stragglers–who would voluntarily switch to this garbage? People who want to claim they made their own decision in the face of not having a choice.

I for one will wind down my facebooking rate. I’ll check my messages and friend requests for a while, but soon enough it will become like my myspace page: unused. I wish I had no friends, if I had no friends, I’d delete my fb page today.

They had a beautiful layout, and now it will be a trainwreck to look at.

Dave Parrack

I switched voluntarily. I like it.

Rob Hack

Good for you! Enjoy FB. I love how you have a snappy answer for every part of the new timeline that people don’t like & have posted here. Personally I like the old style way better.It’s easy to read and harder for creepers to read your whole life story. I also don’t like how it auto switches out of “recent posts first” to “top stories” every time I log in. I mean really….how do they know what MY top stories should be? lol Not everyone who is leaving is whining about it nor have I whined about any other things FB has done in the past. Hate mob? Moaning? Whining? Your post sounds more like you don’t like the people who don’t like the change that anything else.I’m sure you’ll have another snappy comment to cover this one too. Personally,I’m leaving FB. I have better things to do with my time.My real friends know how to email me & attach a photo or two without sharing it with everyone.

Carla B.

It figures!

Dan

People would pay to not have timeline Zuckerberg is a noob

Mihai Triboi

Timeline is so controversial… But still I love it, as I use to frequently read my ”Facebook life story” to put in (or take out) some info from there to manage my Facebook image. I find it very easy to use (can’t understand those saying it’s disorganized). Well… I admit that the double column layout is not that easy to follow as a single centered column, but I think it’s pretty usable when you get used to it.

And I agree that Facebook has the right to force Timeline on everyone, and I’m wondering why it hasn’t yet!?

Jonny P

Dave,
I don’t know. I am one of those people who has never grumbled at the changes. My impression was that we all were being switched to TIMELINE so I got in front of it and changed it to how I wanted it to look. But – I’m not thrilled with it. Just not. The idea that all my old status updates are back up? Dumb. The thing about Facebook at the start was that it was SIMPLE. I seem to recall ANOTHER company that started out SIMPLE and then went all complex. The thing that people originally liked about Facebook was it was SIMPLE. It also LOOKED Simple. Now – even you have to admit going through all of the settings, etc. takes a very long time – it’s ridiculous. Of course we don’t own Facebook – but we can certainly decide to go somewhere else as you pointed out. And… if they keep making these very unpopular changes I’m afraid they may be headed in the direction of another social media company. Of course, the technology that Facebook has may be folded into some other use years later. Time will tell. But Timeline… aye. At the time, I really thought everyone had 8 months to switch over otherwise I NEVER would have switched over. Glad I did it if they do automatically switch people over – it was a mess having to reconfigure it.

Jonny P

opps there is my correct e mail address

Erick G.

You wrote : «I would implore you all to stop moaning about Timeline… Please let me know your thoughts on this subject…». So if I don’t have the same opinion as yours I’m automatically «moaning» : is there a better way to start an healthy debate? Anyway just your sentence «In other words – put up or shut up.» clearly shows your unwillingness to respect ideas other than yours.

And by the way Facebook Timeline is less than readable, plain and simple, and I’m not a dinosaur who refuses to evolve : «If it’s not broke, don’t fix it» is as good today as it’s always been.

Dave Parrack

It’s an opinion piece. It was labeled as such. It wouldn’t be very compelling if I sat on the fence, would it.

sifter

“You can hide or delete old updates you don’t like” – No, I can’t, and this is my biggest issue with Timeline right now. When I go into my Activity Log it doesn’t let me hide or change who sees MOST things. My only option for the majority of items is to delete them altogether, which I thought meant deleting from my wall or log, but no, it means deleting the original post or comment that was made, wiping it out completely as if it never existed. If Timeline truly had an option to hide what you do or don’t want visible on your wall or profile, that would allow freedom of personal expression or non-expression and I’d be much more willing to roll with this. But as it stands it is utterly controlling.

Peter Elbro

Surprisingly I actually agree with most of your comments but I don’t think users should be forced to use something which is optional. Also, I don’t agree FB is free as they are using you as an advertising tool without paying you but then there is no such thing as a free lunch. So, when it came to the crunch and FB said you are going to have timeline whether you like it or not it forced me to review everything that was on there and then promptly deleted or hid 99% of it. I was also surprised how much of it was trivial so I may have to reveiw what I write. Maybe Zuckerberg can force people to have timeline but he can’t force people keep stuff on it. I’ll keep using FB to keep in touch with what is going on but most if not all of it is going in the bitbucket shortly afterwards. Your move Zuckerberg!

lol

Time line is poor design. If they did it properly, the people accept it. Face it, Facebook is no Apple. Facebook design is so inferior that they saw Instagram as a threat and needed to buy out.

Poor design causes headaches and frustration to many. People also need to re learn how to use the site. This causes more people to leave fb. I don’t know about you but I know more people who quit fb because of their poor changes and lack of support.

It’s no wonder fb lost 50% of its value since IPO. It is clear that investors are pulling out.

Timeline is not an evolution, it is another way for “FB” to stream line the way their cash and data flow.

The only reason I’m still using it is because I was one of the few who advocated for it and been using it since before it was open to public.

S. Guertler

There are many points where I disagree with you, and which you left out. The biggest point is that your point ‘its a facebook decision – by employees there and none of the users business’ is just oversimplifying matters. A customer has the right, that the product he chooses, will be supported for some time. I do not want to buy a printer, where I am not able to buy ink in say a year from buying it. Facebook is so big because of the users, we are ‘paying’ by proving our information (so that it is ‘for free’ is not really valid point against it). Esp. in IT there were always trends, some prevailed others died, it isnt just a ‘move forward’ in technology if something is new. Facebook became big relatively quick and might be forgotten as fast, as others (ICQ was once big). So to put all users in the ‘being to backwards to see the innovation’ box, is neither valid, nor a good style of discussion. Not everything which is new, is really better. I personally predict that facebook will in fact loose MANY users to google+ as almost my whole network in facebook switches. They may as well reconsider there decision, as technically speaking, it wont be a problem at all to let the members choose one of the two styles.

John

Dave,

You’re an idiot. You did not mention my main argument and the one made by most of the gamers on facebook. You also take the attitude that the users of facebook shouldn’t have or expect a say and it’s an entitlement issue.

My main argument is that timeline hides many recent posts by users. Gamers really hate this because it makes it hard to share stuff amongst your neighbors. It also makes it difficult to see multiple posts your friends have made in any given day. There may be a way to work around this but I haven’t seen it yet.

Now what gives me the right to think the users of facebook should have a say? Very simple though I’m not sure your pretentious mind will be able to wrap around it. It’s the users of the site that make the site valuable. If it wasn’t for the users, facebook would not make the money it does through advertising. You act like facebook is comparable to a freeware program you download while it is more like adware where my benefit is paid for by an advertising agency and I have to put up with ads.

Carla B.

Very valid point John. I agree. As for the game bashers, let me say that Zynga is
one of the major money makers for Facebook!

Dave Parrack

Do you expect a say in how every company you have dealings with operates?

Yes, the users make Facebook money, I never said they didn’t. But it’s Facebook’s right to do what they want with their product. If they make a misstep and lose users/customers as a result that’s the free market at work.

David Ikeda

Where I have a gripe with the timeline is that I think it either ignores a fundamental software engineering principle of optimizing for the common case or it’s catered to a very different type of crowd.

When we visit a friend’s Facebook page, and one whose photo gallery we’ve already seen, one whose interests are already known, and one who shares the same friends, what are we most interested in?

Chances are, we want to see the latest activities, status updates, shared links and photos, etc. — the whole *social* aspect where discussions take place.

The new timeline layout reduces visual emphasis on those elements above which are the most dynamic and social aspects of a person’s facebook page. Such information ends up being effectively halved in size and prominence, and on the right hand column, we now see giant rows displaying a sample of 8 of that person’s friends with huge pictures of them, their interests (which are unlikely to vary much on a daily basis, etc). Meanwhile, that dynamic content and the corresponding discussions which take place (the things most likely be interest to repeat visitors of that page) is obscured by these massive entries on the right column.

I can see how this type of layout would appeal to people who want as many newcomers to their page. I can see how the layout would appeal to companies who want to put as many advertisements as they can fit on the screen. I can’t see how this would appeal as much to people interested in sharing the latest photos, status updates, links, and discussions when that is now so obscured by giant, much more static elements which aren’t updated nearly as frequently.

Adrian McKenzie

On teh 29th August Facebook intend to force Timeline onto my Facebook account and I have taken the decision to delete my account as a result.

I don’t like Timeline. It’s design is awful and counter intuitive. I like the single column chronology of the existing Facebook, wall. It’s logical and easy to understand. In comparison Timeline’s zig zag double column format makes everything hard to find. If someone posts their own post on my wall it is hidden in a separate section.

It’s a perfect example of a bad design that some people such as myself dislike strongly. I see no advantages to it’s implementation and disrespect the arrogance of an organisation that assumes it knows better than me what I want.

For these reasons I am leaving Facebook.

Adrian

Dave Parrack

Which is your right as a consumer. Good decision.

Jimmy Carl Black

Accept it or move on. You’re right. Facebook has every right to do whatever the hell they want with their design. And, I have every right to move on – which I’m doing now that Facebook has finally forced Timeline on all of us. Facebook has become decreasingly useful over the years. First, they got rid of the ability to search for classmates by year (what the hell is the point of that???). Now this horrible, disorganized mess of Timeline is compulsory. Most people who are out of high school don’t even use FB for anything except the news feed, and Twitter has already stolen much of that traffic. My prediction is that FB will be MySpace within five years.

Dave Parrack

Good for you. You no longer like the product so you’re stopping using it. Common sense.

TV

I’ve read most of these comments, some very old, and have to say that the concept OP posits of “put up or shut up and move on” is actually wrong. You might remember a certain HUGE company from Redmond,WA who tried that and the courts said “nuh uh, you are SO big that you’re a monopoly” and proceeded to chop them apart. And a few decades prior to that was HUGE ol’ AT&T “we don’t have to listen to you, we’re the phone company” and the Feds chopped them apart. So, it behooves FB to *listen* to their customers, whether we block ads or not, since without us (without our data) they are nothing. Besides, the web technology now allows a thing called “themes” for webpages and FB could *easily* add that code to let users configure how they view their pages. Finally, need to insert plug for browser extension called “FB Purity” (Google it) that allows you to change your Timeline layout to what YOU want! :)

Dave Parrack

Facebook has competition, so your analogy doesn’t work on any level. If you don’t like Facebook then use Google+, Twitter, Diaspora, or any other social network you want to.

TV

You are correct as it pertained to AT&T but not Microsoft. there were (and are) plenty of different operating systems, but the courts said that regardless of why, Windows(tm) is used on so many computers that they have a defacto monopoly, and thus treated them as if they were the only game in town…which is what FB is now due to having *so many* users. It isn’t a far jump to say that they have a monopoly on social networking because Twitter is so different and G+ isn’t anywhere close. The usefulness is due to having all your friends & family on the same platform. So sure, you can go use some other operating system than Windows(tm) but then you lose out on playing the same games w/friends, on the huge amount of software for that O/S, on the support (well, FB fails in that regard too), and on interoperability. So, while technically feasible, it isn’t really realistic. The point being, FB shouldn’t have a problem with allowing its users to present their data in any way they want, data manipulation code doesn’t care what the presentation is only what the database schema is. The corporate white tower “do it our way because we don’t care” attitude is what is pissing everyone off. Very much like the government in that respect, and we all love the government…

Tommy

Timeline is so bad that I closed my Facebook account. Adding the time element was simply too intrusive to me. I’m not trying to keep a diary. I am sure you will see Facebook stock continue to fall.

Brian

Timeline is slow!!

simon

Firstly I’d like to say what a load of dingo’s kidneys.
Do you just sprout forth with you dribble uncontrollably, or do you work at it?

Secondly I would point out to you, the plummeting share price of facebook stock.
Oh yes it is time line that has caused it.

It is so wrong at so many levels. I will not go into them, unlike yourself who didn’t prove his initial statement, and took a whole page to do so.

Good day to you Sir.

merja

sorry to say but you dave really atleast to me seem to totally speak for the company facebook (i read the whole thread and that is my impression). u say u are not content with all the features with timeline but as i understand it your point is take it or leave it. its not so easy to leave facebook very quickly cuz most of our friends, family and aqquatanses we have contact with is via facebook. why? cuz fb happens to have been a big succes from the start and drawn millions of people to it. but i have to say i think the fb company leaders will meet a major setback on the timeline force on everyone. cuz even if things have to changed and bettered all the time i think fb leaders are not keen on listening to a mass movement against the latest one… the one that is topic of this discussione here timeline

ben franklin (pre-death)

It isn’t just some greatly efficient rearranging of information. It was extremely difficult for people to data mine your entire “Facebook History” before this highly invasive “Timeline” was added to the mix. Now, if anyone (and I mean ANYONE) wants to check if you ever partied hard or spoke against a certain group or was distrustful of the government or the corporatocracy, they can simply hop over to your timeline and check you out.

It isn’t just a natural “evolving” of a software system. It is making it extremely easy for the surveillance state to mine your data. Why the hell would any of my friends give a damn what I commented on 4 years ago with respect to Monsanto or George Bush, or 9/11? The only groups interested in that kind of information are data mining, data farming, and surveillance companies as well as the government at large.

Facebook has made its NSA/CIA database that much easier for analysts by implementing timeline. Nothing more.

okbuthow

There’s a lot of users that use Facebook for just a couple things, so the new and improved timeline wouldn’t be beneficial but possibly harmful to some users because when they go find whatever it is they want. It might also be mixed with “extra options/order” or they wouldn’t be able to find it at all. Keep in mind that not everyone is tech savvy and things that are easy to find for a normal person might not be for a person who doesn’t use much computer