Facebook rolls out big changes to ‘lock in’ users

Posted: September 30, 2011 in Science and Technology

Agence France-Presse
The Raw Story
September 30, 2011

Facebook on Friday begins rolling out its biggest ever shake-up, in a move observers say will not only profoundly alter how its 800 million users interact with the site, but will keep them coming back for decades to come.

The new “Timeline,” revealed last week by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg will also likely shock some users, notorious for backlashes in recent years over even small adjustments to the site, let alone a complete re-think of how their lives are presented to the world.

The changes amount to the “heart of your Facebook experience, completely rethought from the ground up,” Zuckerberg told an annual developers conference.

Rick Marini, CEO of the Facebook-focused “career network” BranchOut, which itself boasts millions of users, marveled this week in a conference call with marketers and reporters how the site had managed to build an enduring model.

“If your Timeline becomes an important part of your life — the diary of your life — Facebook may have just locked people in for the next 20 years,” Marini said Wednesday.

If Facebook is “where all of this happens, all your pictures, all your video, everything you’ve ever done,” he added: “you’re never going to leave.”

Zuckerberg said his team’s main aim was “to design a place that feels like your home,” prompting Forrester analyst Sean Corcoran to note that Facebook was “positioning itself as not just your social graph online, but your life online.”

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