My Take On Timeline and Ticker

Lots of people have said what they like about Facebook’s announcements at yesterday’s f8 conference. I’m all for innovation, and I agree that many users (including myself) whine about changes, get used to them, and then whine when the next set of changes comes down. But I do have some observations and questions about these impending updates:

  1. FB needs to make it a Privacy option (which should be the default!) that one’s comments and likes don’t show up in the Ticker, or that they only show up in the case of mutual friends. I’ve now lost count of those posting “please unsubscribe to my comments and likes” as their FB status. People do NOT want everyone, even their friends, seeing their every move on FB.
  2. The “set it and forget it” aspect of the “frictionless” app experience is going to upset people, as well. What if you don’t WANT everyone knowing what you’re listening to, what you’re cooking, what you’re doing? What if in your early enthusiasm you add Spotify, or Nike+, or whatever… and don’t (if the option is even there) only make it for certain Lists? Recruiters and bosses are going to have a field day with this.
  3. FB is assuming that people will spend all day, every day, with FB running to document their lives. I’m not convinced that will be the case with the majority. Even among those who might be inclined are many who can’t or won’t use FB while they’re at work, on vacation, etc. I suspect many will begin populating their timelines with gusto and then, like so many bloggers, lose the pace once they realize the ongoing effort and disclosure required.
  4. Many people (especially those in high school and college) have hundreds, if not thousands, of Friends. That ticker’s going to whiz by like a slot machine. How useful will the discovery aspect be if the ticker’s scrolling rapidly?
  5. The huge unanswered question: What is FB going to do with all the data it’ll be compiling on its users? With whom will they share it? What will the ramifications be for privacy, identify theft, marketing?

What are your thoughts?


  1. I disabled the feature posting every like and befriend to my profile, leaving only my status updates and the posts directly onto my wall from my friends. Today I find that all of my friends, my work colleagues and family are watching exactly that information that I’d selected to withhold scrolling through everyone’s ticker!

    I’m appalled at Facebook’s disregard of my sharing preferences, frankly, and I’m now genuinely reluctant to click Like or even breathe a word on anyone’s photo. Regardless of whether one friend of mine knows the individual whose photo I comment/like, they’re now informed that I’ve interacted there. It’s simply unacceptable, not least because something that WAS within my control is now in the control of absolutely everyone else BUT me. What next? I think I’ll wait *quietly* and see.

    1. Thanks, Simon. I couldn’t agree more. If anything, these “features” are making me LESS inclined to interact on FB, not more. I wonder if we’re the norm or the exception, though?

Comments are closed.