Facebook gets a facelift

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By Samantha Tyler

Usually, I’m one to believe that the Facebook world should be separated from the real world, but the changes made recently and those yet to come to the website require extra attention since they have caused such an uproar.

The recent drastic changes made to the social network may seem to have completely altered its layout, but on Sept. 30 users should expect to be hit by more exorbitant revisions when the new Facebook Timeline comes out live to all users.

Right now, only a beta version of the completely changed setup has been released, but reviews say users will either love it or hate it.

The changes will be aesthetically pleasing to those who like to blog and scrapbook online, but for others the new layout will seem completely unnecessary and superfluous.

According to Facebook, “walls” and “profiles” will be replaced by  a timeline of your life. A feed of friends’ recent statuses, picture tags, etc. will still be featured, but users have already experienced big changes to those features recently.

Users’ news feeds now include older, more broad “stories” in the middle of the screen, while live updates of friends’ activities can be viewed in the top right corner. This continuously changing blob of text can be visualized in more detail when scrolled over, but is otherwise hard on the eyes to look through. The separation between the two kinds of news seems unnecessary and doesn’t make much sense.

This constant feed is convenient for keeping track of a friend’s every move, but even when you’re not logged on, Facebook is constantly updating your news feed and sending information to your profile, decreasing users’ privacy. This repercussion seems to invalidate the need for such constant updates.

Other modifications have been made, such as the opportunity to “unsubscribe” from the magazine that is your friends’ Facebook life, and the notifications for your closest friends’ status updates. Depending on what you use Facebook for, these changes can be viewed as either advantageous since it allows for constant communication and connection to everyone or disadvantageous in the sense that privacy seems to go out the window in multiple respects.

Facebook has always tampered with its layout without notifying users, but in its attempt to compete with Google+, perhaps Facebook Timeline will push users too far.

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