Reaction mixed to Facebook's new profile

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about history of Facebook during the f/8 conference in San Francisco, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

September 22, 2011 5:43:51 PM PDT
Facebook will never look the same: The company is making some major changes to the website. Some Facebook users like the new changes, while others are angry.

Every time Facebook makes a big change, users complain about it. Thursday was no exception when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the profile page was transforming into something completely different.

"We're really proud of the timeline," Zuckerberg said. "We think it's an important next step to help you tell the story of your life. You get a giant canvas on which to present the different aspects of your life as you might explain them to a friend."

The new timeline is a scrapbook of your entire online life -- all the way back to your baby pictures. And with it, a new way for apps, including those on your mobile phone, to post things to your timeline transparently.

Developers at Thursday's conference argue Facebook had to make some changes in order to keep up with the changing ways people are using technology. CEO Matt Williams is among those excited about the new features, including the ticker where you can see things your friends are doing.

"If one of my friends listens to a new song, it'll just tick right in," Williams said.

The new timeline gives Facebook users a chance to make everything you do -- and everything you ever did -- a lot more public. The question some developers had at the convention was if users wanted the new changes.

"That is the biggest question, isn't it?" questioned former Facebook engineer Karel Baloun. "Do I want everything I listen to, or everything I see on Netflix to be public to all of my friends?"

"I know there's going to be a lot of people with exs, ex-girlfriends, ex-wives, those kinds of things," said engineer Brian Probasco. "You're gonna have a big significant portion of your timeline taken up by those kinds of people."

Journalists live-blogging the announcement got some strongly-worded comments from readers.

"Their initial reaction, at least in our live blog, was 'no, I don't like it,'" said CNET editor Raif Needleman.

Needleman said when a company changes something that's become familiar, users often get angry. Some of the users ABC7 spoke with today were, describing it as "too much going on" and "intrusive."

Like it or not, the new Facebook timeline began rolling out to developers and some users on Thursday.

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