I'm having a hard time coming up with anything negative to say about the new timeline based layout. For those of you that have enabled it, what are your thoughts?
I don't use Facebook, so maybe I'm not the best person to answer your question. But, I was there today and attended several sessions, so I saw a lot more about how they are thinking about this stuff. It is really slick. From a technical and UI point of view, it's a really nice combination of the existing Facebook and Twitter and Google+.
The abstract purpose of the timeline was made lucidly clear, and it's pretty obvious that, if you don't think too much about how it is appealing to essentially ones naturally narcissistic slants, it's totally great in many ways. However, exactly how it works was less clear. What other people see of your timeline was characterized differently throughout the day. This could be just poor communication, or internal confusion about how it works. It was mentioned that other people will get a magically generated view of your timeline that matches interests relevant to them. My take on this was that, eg, you, a sailing fan but not into technology, if you were to be friends with Larry Ellison, his timeline to you would be populated with tons of sailing stuff but nothing about Oracle. That was contradicted at other talks, so I'm not really sure. It seems kind of mushy either way. Perhaps the speakers were just mixing up pronouns...
If you are someone who has a decent attention to detail, and decent taste, and will carefully curate all your stuff, it seems like it will be great. However, I suspect that comprises about 0.5% of all facebook users. What will the "giant photo" be on the majority of timelines? Who will make sure that this giant single document containing years of data will be appropriately "shared"? What does it look like when something profoundly bad happens to someone (dealing with death, divorce, etc)?
It reminds me of Windows Metro -- In the absolute best case, it's beautiful and great and highly functional. How will the average case work, though? My prediction is, "far from great".
Aside: The keynote was completely lame. A large group of Facebook employees were laughing uproariously to the unfunny jokes, and applauding and cheering to slides before the slide even appeared. I've never noticed this at any other tech keynote, is it normally done this way?