Reaction to Facebook changes: Guru talks Timeline, privacy, more


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The flow of commentary during and immediately after the big Facebook announcements at Thursday’s F8 conference—Timeline! Open Graph! Apps!-- has been steady and divided.

Immediate reaction to the new changes was mixed. One of the roughly 100,000 people who were watching the conference live streaming via Facebook’s feed compared the social media company with Lady Gaga, ‘You don’t need to reinvent yourself every five minutes.’ Another person said Facebook should consider making their changes optional ‘because a lot of old people use it’ and these changes are hard for them to follow.


However, comments on a story about Timeline on the tech news site Mashable were unabashedly positive: ‘Awesome!’ wrote one person. ‘Terrifically excited!’ wrote another.

Photos: The many faces of Facebook

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times minutes after the conference ended, social media expert and Facebook queen Mari Smith said she was firmly on the ‘love it’ side.

‘I was actually profoundly and deeply moved by the video on Timeline they shared,’ she said. ‘It shows how we are living our day-to-day lives. People get up in arms about privacy, but I think it was amazing.’

Still, Smith acknowledged that Facebook may have a hard time convincing users that the updates are good. The company rolled out some changes earlier this week -- including a Twitter-like ticker that updates in real time along the side of the page, and it has met with strong vocal opposition.

‘I think it is just the human condition,’ she said. ‘As human beings, we are resistant to change.’


Among her own vast online community, she said she’d heard complaints that Facebook was asking users to share too much information and that there were overtones of Big Brother.

But she says users can always protect their privacy.

‘Just be careful what you share,’ she said.


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-- Deborah Netburn