Facebook announced in a blog post update on Tuesday that all profiles will be converted to the Timeline format, previously an opt-in service, within “the next few weeks.” Once profiles are converted, users will have seven days to preview the new look and “add or hide whatever you want before anyone else sees it.”
Privacy advocates are sure to be upset, as are tech fans who generally value individual control and a customizable experience over all else. These groups will not react kindly to Facebook not only making a major involuntary change to users’ primary public interface, but changing it to a format that makes mass amounts of information much more easily accessible. However, as the social network points out, users can control how individual material is viewed by their friends and the public.
The format has also been criticized for it’s busy, cluttered appearance. But as younger generations grow up with a completely different social media experience, centered on immediate activity and not static information, Timeline could certainly become the norm.
Unfortunately, users who want to switch to Google+ to avoid similar privacy concerns may be out of luck: Google also announced on Tuesday that they would begin tracking users browsing data across multiple Google sites, with no ability to opt out.
What do you think about the latest changes at Facebook and Google?