Facebook users polled 'unlike' new Timeline feature

A whopping 70 percent of Facebook users surveyed by SodaHead voted thumbs down on the social network's now mandatory Timeline feature.

Facebook' new Timeline feature, like it or not.
Facebook' new Timeline feature, like it or not. Facebook

Hate the new Timeline feature in Facebook? You're not alone.

A full 70 percent of people polled by opinion site SodaHead said they want to see the new feature bite the dust. Among the rest of the SodaHeads surveyed, only 20 percent said they like the Timeline, while 10 percent said they don't use Facebook.

Younger people were cooler with the change than were older Facebook users, but not by much. Thirty percent of those 18 to 24 years old said they like the Timeline, while only 10 percent of folks over 65 gave it a thumbs up. Men and women were equally turned off by the Timeline, with 77 percent of each gender expressing disapproval.

But the Timeline stands to gain more acceptance outside the United States. Only 23 percent of U.S. users polled said they're OK with the new feature, compared with 32 percent in countries like India and Brazil.

The new Timeline marks a change in both content and layout from the traditional Facebook profile page.

Instead of showing your most recent updates one after the other in a single column, the Timeline displays your posts, photos, and other information in a two-column format. The feature gradually moves backward in time until people can see your entire history, at least as much of it as you've revealed on Facebook.

And therein lies the rub.

Any embarrassing posts or photos from the past that you hoped would fade away over time can now be seen by anyone who scrolls down far enough. Even worse for Timeline haters, the feature was originally unveiled as an option in December but will become mandatory for all users starting February 10.

A poll of the Timeline conducted by CNET a week ago found a greater diversity of opinions

A full 36 percent said they're only using it because they're forced to, 22 percent said they dig it, 18 percent claimed they're dumping Facebook for Google+, and 13 percent admitted that it's not so bad once you get used to it.

Though the Timeline will show up whether you want it or not, you do have control over the content that pops up.

By clicking on the edit button at the top of a content item, you can either remove it from the Timeline or delete it altogether. Of course, this means you'll have to check out your entire Timeline. But it may be worth it to make sure that one embarrassing photo of you from 2007 isn't on display for everyone to see.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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