In a move beyond comprehension, Facebook has implemented Timeline, with no opt-out option, much to the dissatisfaction to mega-hoards of Facebook users.
After reading several pages of reader comments from readers of Yahoo! News, The New York Times Online, and other sources that reported the Timeline change, I would estimate that 99% of reader commentaries that I read were totally dissatisfied with the implementation of Timeline. Nay, dare I say, enraged?
In my opinion, this shows that Facebook either didn’t care about the user, or perhaps had faulty research showing that Timeline was wanted. Either way, Facebook has p***ed off a huge chunk of it’s user base. And make no mistake; the user base is the only thing that makes Facebook of any value in the marketplace.
When Facebook first came out, people were attracted to its simplicity of design, ease-of-use, and best of all, being able to share their life with their circle of friends and family. Now with Timeline, the interface has become cluttered, confusing to navigate, and worst of all, drudges up all sorts of embarrassing posts and pics from days gone by. Like the one from long ago, of you wearing nothing but undies, dancing around a beer keg at some bash.
A crazy post was OK when you only had five college friends on your account, but now, you have over a hundred friends, including your boss, mother-in-law, and pastor. What once was buried down deep is now front page news. Thanks a lot Zuckerberg!
Users don’t want the past, embarrassing or not, being forefront. Facebook is all about the here and now, duh. They don’t want a more confusing interface, or advertising slammed in their faces. Nor do they like having no opt-out.
I guess Facebook didn’t learn from the Netflix disaster. Netflix brutishly changed the structure of offerings and features that made them successful only to lose customers and revenues so fast that it is now headed towards the ash-heap of has been successes.
A company like Facebook can’t take their users for granted by making arbitrary and universal changes to the platforms they have come to feel are an intimate part of their lives. To do so disenfranchises them and breaks the bond of trust that once existed. Changes need to be made slowly, and after much research in order to better the experience.
My advice for Facebook? Treat users as if their entire business and future depends on them. Because guess what? It does. Goodbye Facebook.
Written by: Timo Matero, Primary Founder / CEO Accelerator Advertising, Inc.