The network itself is pushing users to become even more personal with the new timeline. Will the new look prompt many to reconsider what and how they share?
The network's own growth and business viability are contingent upon the contribution of brands. Will brands increase their spend in the next year? What percentage of your resources investment should go to a walled third-party digital platform?
Blending personal and business on Facebook
This tension is felt despite some well publicized success stories. Early reactions to the much anticipated new timeline could drive users away from the platform.
Whenever a technology is too difficult to figure out, especially how it could make your data vulnerable, people often cut their losses by hitting pause, or control + alt + delete.
Many businesses are taking a wait and see approach as well. They are using this transition and the holiday season as an opportunity to re-evaluate their approach and test new tools.
The five stories that will help you evaluate what's next for you on Facebook are:
Learning how to navigate the changes is key. Lifehacker shows how to use Facebook's new timeline feature (and hide your embarrassing old posts) with a step bu step guide:
You have a few choices here, and unfortunately neither is very ideal. You can go through your timeline and hide or delete individual posts by clicking the pencil icon, but depending on how long you've been on Facebook and how active you are, this could take forever.
Alternatively, if you have any old posts that are public or shared with friends of friends, you can change the privacy of all those posts to "Friends Only" with one click.
And you have seven days to make all the changes you wish to make.
Another helpful introduction to the new Facebook features at The Next Web explains some creative ways to feature posts and images:
[...] if you want to check out how someone else sees your Facebook profile, you can still do that. Simply click on the Settings button at the top of your Timeline, select ‘View as…’ and type in the name of the friend.
When it comes to deciding who gets to see what, you can choose to review all tagged content before it appears on your Timeline. In your Privacy Settings, select ‘How Tags Work’, and from there you can choose to review tagged photos and posts before they show up on your Timeline, so you can always be sure to keep those embarrassing photos out of your friends’ news feeds.
With a little bit of work, you can view how the new layout showcases your posts and information.
Some users have decided to opt out altogether. As The New York Times reported, there are Facebook Resisters:
Some people, even on the younger end of the age spectrum, just refuse to participate, including people who have given it a try.
One of Facebook’s main selling points is that it builds closer ties among friends and colleagues. But some who steer clear of the site say it can have the opposite effect of making them feel more, not less, alienated.
“I wasn’t calling my friends anymore,” said Ashleigh Elser, 24, who is in graduate school in Charlottesville, Va. “I was just seeing their pictures and updates and felt like that was really connecting to them.”
Are you feeling the peer pressure to participate?
Is Facebook driving more people to constantly compare themselves to others? Daniel Gulati at Harvard Business blogs says Facebook is making us miserable:
As Facebook continues to add new features to help us connect more efficiently online, the battle to maintain off-line relationships will become even more difficult, which will impact their overall quality, especially in the long-run. Facebook is negatively affecting what psychology Professor Jeffrey Parker refers to as "the closeness properties of friendship."
Maybe quitting is not an option if your work includes use of the social network. However, being aware of comparison traps and the personal time suck without following specific goals can help relieve some of the pressure.
With the recent announcement of an imminent IPO, Facebook's revenue numbers are drawing renewed interest from investors and the media. Business Insider publishes some highlights:
Facebook is not blowing away the numbers that leaked at the beginning of 2011. That in itself feels like a disappointment. The company is NOT going through a surprising run of growth. It's also worth pointing out that Facebook still continues to trail the pace set by Google during its first seven years as a company.
The Gawker post, however, labels Facebook as a success, albeit at the expense of users.
The Facebook timeline will also be available for business pages.
Follow the discussion over on Conversation Agent Google+ Page.
Have a great weekend everyone.