Most people have yet to publish their timelines, since the feature only became available across the site last Thursday and Facebook has a seven-day grace period for people to choose what to put on the advanced profile before it publishes for the entire world to see.
I wonder whether the grace period effectively extends the testing of this advanced profile, since Facebook can respond to feedback from the less-technologically inclined types who have just begun to tinker with the timeline over the past week. Even techie types continue to find things that might resemble bugs as much as features.
So with that in mind, here are some suggestions for Facebook to polish the timeline, serving as a sequel to a September post about how the social network can improve this advanced profile.
1. Clarify in the pulldown menu the difference between hiding and deleting items — if the later is permanent, then the label needs to read “permanently delete.” The former could say “hide from others.”
2. Don’t publish stories to the news feed about adjustments to timelines that haven’t yet been published. Only announce edits of profiles already visible.
3. The red notifications showing up just above the button labeled “activity log” need to be more consistent, and mouse-over text might be necessary to explain what kinds of things have notifications appearing where.
4. Allow the tagging of people who aren’t on Facebook yet when adding life events to the timeline. For instance, I ran into a dead-end when attempting to input the birth of a niece below the age of 13 within the family section of my own profile. The site wouldn’t create a new record without a name linking to someone who already has a profile.
5. Set a minimum service requirement for all third-party open graph applications to appear on timeline: They must be consistently editable. (Message to GoodReads: I desperately want my timeline to feature what I’ve read when, so please stop teasing me with the promise of this yet-to-function capability!) While we’re on the topic of third-party applications, let’s bring in the proverbial 300-pound gorilla…
6. Facebook ought to comply with anything Apple asks for so that iTunes can become visible in timeline. And, there’s another sizeable simian…
7. The social network ought to make peace with Google so that we could see YouTube videos show up in the timeline.
Readers, what improvements would you like to see based on your own explorations of the timeline?