By Staff Writer Maha Kamal
Sadia Arshad, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she got quite a shock when she logged onto Facebook two weeks ago.
“After eating dinner, logging onto my laptop and, like every other college student, opening the Facebook tab, I screamed ‘What the f—?’ in the common room,” Arshad said.
Two weeks ago, Facebook added a new “ticker” feature, a sidebar of your friend’s activities that appears similar to Twitter’s live feed. Updates incdlued Facebook friends commenting on the photographs of people outside of your friends list.
“The little box on the right scared me at first, but after reading the content, I realized that I saw friends of friends information, something I didn’t care for,” Arshad said.
Facebook’s next feature, the timeline, presents the history of people’s life like a scrapbook or diary with updates from the year of their birth to the present. Facebook users can click on different years and get a glimpse into the past.
Timeline’s official launch has been delayed because of a lawsuit by Chicago-based company Timelines.com, according to the Tech Post website. However, many users have updated their profiles to have the timeline in the beta stage.
College of Communication junior David Valbuena said he loved the features.
“Every time Facebook makes a big change, I always notice that I’m the only one, or at least one of the only ones, not ranting about the changes,” Valbuena said. “I love when Facebook makes progressive changes, and after a few weeks everyone gets used to the new features and starts to love it.”
Valbuena said he thinks that the layout is more aesthetically pleasing and the website overall is easier to navigate.
“I can’t wait until it goes live, but I am definitely not looking forward to the mass of people claiming to ‘leave Facebook forever’ and complaining about ‘ruining Facebook,’” he said. “In short, I’m glad to see that Facebook is making things clear, appealing and even fun.”
While Arshad said she appreciates the cleaner look, she also said that the chat feature needs a few changes.
“I prefer the new Facebook because it’s more organized in a way, but they still need to work on chat issues. They’ve fixed everything, but can’t ever fix chat so everyone is online and offline when they want to be,” Arshad said.
“I like the new ticker, but I really like that the top menu bar is fixed despite how much I scroll,” said Parth Dwivedi, a senior in CAS. “I haven’t got the chance to look at Facebook Timeline. I like Facebook the way it is now.”
Valbuena said, however, that Facebook’s privacy policies remain an ever-present concern.
“I do have some issues with the privacy on Facebook, but Facebook already has all my information. They can claim ownership over the data that says that my birthday was on such and such date or that my phone number is this or that, but they can’t claim ownership over my birthday or my telephone number. I just think that people like to freak out,” he said.