The wizards of smart at Facebook are testing an new layout for Timeline. This version features a single column for posts, instead of the two columns. The user timeline would still be divided into two columns, but all of your status updates, photos, and other items posted to your timeline would be featured in a wide column on the left. Modules like “photos,” “friends,” “likes,” and any open-graph apps like Spotify and Instagram would appear in a narrower column on the right.
According to Brittany Darwell for Inside Facebook:
“This layout addresses one of the common complaints about the new profile: Users previously had to look back and forth on the page as they scrolled through to read their stream. Some users found the two-column layout frustrating. With this design, the line down the center has been removed, making the profile look less like a timeline. However, the timeline of dates still exists in the top right of the page to jump to a particular month or year.”
This layout does pose an obvious waste of space on the page as you scroll back in time beyond all of the modules in the right hand column. This is just speculation on my part, but I doubt that, should this new version of timeline be adopted, Facebook will leave that space empty for long.
Keep in mind that users can already pay to promote their personal posts to their friends’ news feeds. I would not be surprised at all to discover an option to promote messages directly to friends’ timelines to fill the void. I would also expect to see more of the sponsored page activity to start showing up in the open space in the one column version of timeline. So, when your friend comments or likes a post on a page about that thing that you both like so much, don’t be surprised to see it show up on your timeline.
How do you feel about this? Will you welcome a fix to the layout of timeline in exchange for the possibility of being served even more paid post activity? Leave your thoughts and rants below.
Screen Shots Courtesy Inside Facebook.