Facebook F8 2011: thoughts
Infographic designer and new hiree to Facebook, Nicholas Feltron, called the profile layout "the single biggest missed opportunity in human storytelling."
The Timeline is the presentation of all your activities (and memories, when that subconcious threshold in time is passed for an past activity to become a memory) on a single, scrollable page, instead of your past being hid behind a "see more" grey bar and the occasional "your status in 2010." However, there was one small thing I just couldn't get out of my head while watching the emotional speech given by Chris Cox about the Timeline provision of information on a single page, comparing it to the simple act of scrapbooking. He talks about your personality being expressed, your habituals of your social consciousness (what you do) presented, your best friends listed, where you spend your time displayed.
One beneficiary is definitely the fact that they have significantly improved the design and visual output. They've made an infographic out of it: that's awesome. But it's still the same data farming and prediction algorithms to acquire your habits. The wolf has found it's sheep's clothing.
Then we have the "new breed of social app." All of this extra functionality will be optional (which is good for the user); but the issue is who will actually switch on the social sharing of all these activities? Who actually uses Facebook apps, now that the Farmville addiction has died down?