Facebook Just Won Social Media

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Back in August, I wrote an article about Google+ and how its list of new features had the potential to take on Facebook as the next social media powerhouse. I championed the Circles feature of Google+ as the next great thing, as I don’t always like to share things with my entire Facebook friend list. Since that article, Facebook has rolled out a slew of fresh new changes which are aimed at holding onto its spot on top. And while Facebook did introduce its own version of Circles, they call “Lists,” I think they just won social media with the introduction of the new ‘Timeline feature.’

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the recent sentiment on the Internet has been that of general disfavor towards the new ‘Big Blue.’ Privacy issues, profiting from users personal information, or people just not wanting to hang out in the same place as their parents. Lately, I’ve felt like Facebook was doomed to suffer the same fate of its predecessors MySpace and Friendster. Up until now, there’s been a total lack of loyalty to social media platforms, with users jumping ship at the first sign of shiny new features.

Last week, after reading a few reviews on the new Facebook design, I decided to sign up for the developer program to get early access to the Timeline and check it out for myself. When I logged in for the first time, I immediately noticed the completely new look and feel of the Timeline vs the old Wall. This is definitely the best Facebook has ever looked. Scrolling through my digital life was a joy. But Facebook isnt’ just my digital life, it’s my real life, digitalized. Every photo from every memorable night out, every big life event, every conversation and debate, and every awesome link I’ve shared with friends, all right there and beautifully organized by date, framing little snapshots of my life. With Timelines, Facebook may have just ensured its army of users remain faithful for many years to come.

The hook was set deeper when I scrolled down my timeline and noticed a big grey empty box that read “Started Work at InMotion Hosting Inc May 2011.” Facebook automatically logged the day I changed my employment status on my profile. I couldn’t help but upload a photo as I wanted to mark the occasion. From there, I filled in a few other big life events like graduating High School, and moving to Hermosa Beach. I have to admit, after scrolling back to my first Facebook posts in 2008, I was a little disappointed that I hadn’t joined Facebook earlier so that I could go back farther in time. It’s like a scrapbook for people that would never put together a scrapbook. Facebook did what no other social media site had done before, they made an emotional connection with me.

Maybe I’m making a bigger deal out of this than it should be. After all, it’s really just the same information that’s always been on Facebook with a little clever rearranging and a fresh coat of paint. While that is true, it’s a coat of paint that will encourage everyone to keep using Facebook not just as a place to socialize, but as a place to reminisce. Some people will inevitably take issue with Facebook knowing even more about their lives. Imagine all the young Facebookers of tomorrow that will get to document each step of their entire lives? Is that even good? Is this level of sharing too much? Those are topics for another
discussion. Right now I’m still too distracted looking back at how awesome my Halloween 2009 was.


Mike Spadier
Mike Spadier is the online marketing manager for InMotion Hosting, a Los Angeles based Web hosting provider specializing in small- and medium-sized businesses. Find him... Read Full Bio
Mike Spadier

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  • Mallory

    I wrote a blog back in September when you could first get access and I am entirely in love with Timeline:

  • Casey Mahoney Brad P

    Hi! I am a fan of Google+ Brand Pages.I disliked when Facebook added all the new stuff.The timeline is messy.I am hoping Google+ will be king someday.

    Casey Mahoney Brad P

  • dipalraval

    I am biggest fan of facebook and i always use my facebook account.I always debate on any topic in my groups.Also i shared some idea with each other.This new time line feature is the best for every facebook user.And i agree with you because today, facebook won just social media.

  • Ivy Solis

    Facebook has power and Google+ my be there one day but they have an uphill battle in front of them. When baby boomers start creating Facebook pages… they’ve most certainly “won.”

  • Umair

    Even when their was a buzz that Google+ is going to take over because it was hard for me to think that will the people who have invested so much energy and resources on Facebook to make their small businesses successful will move to Google+ moreover celebrities play an important role in success of social media platform which can be hardly found on G+

  • Marko Stankovic

    I have to say, the first time I went through my timeline I teared up a little bit. It’s like a family photo album, hs yearbook, and personal blog all on one page. So many memories.

    My only complaint so far is that navigating to a specific time is still pretty cumbersome. They need to allow sorting by month. Other than that, it’s freaking awesome.

    No online app has ever made an emotional connection on this level.