Photos via Facebook
Like complimenting the newest Nickelback album or raving about how good M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film is, proclaiming that recent changes to Facebook are a good thing is unlikely to win you any friends. But from what I’ve seen the “new Facebook” is moving in a very positive direction.
Of course, before I even hit publish on this post, what I mean when I say the “new Facebook” will almost certainly become the “old Facebook.” That’s the problem with writing about the ever-changing social networking site created from the awkward genius of Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg is both admired for giving the world Facebook and hated every time he decides to tweak his site. This most recent round of changes brought in a distracting news ticker along with other small tweaks and, at the annual F8 conference, Zuckerberg announced a new feature called timeline.
Most of these changes seem cosmetic and because they don’t change too much of the site’s functionality, they don’t bother me. But behind all the complaints about ”newest Facebook” (old Facebook was only rolled out a few months ago), there are some very cool features that make me very excited.
This is what I have been waiting for. As a writer and photographer, I meet a lot of people I want to stay in contact with but don’t want to include in my inner circle of friends and family. I could add them on twitter or create a Facebook fan page but using two social networking platforms is a hassle (more on that later) and I’ve always thought pages were a bit pretentious for people like me who are just starting out.
With subscribe, I can use Facebook in a brand new way to connect with the public while keeping some of my personal life private.
2. Minimalist Zen
Is social networking important for creative professionals? Yes! In fact, it could be one of the most important skills, at least according to a recent article in the Atlantic. However, could social networking be better, faster, cleaner, and eat less of our time? Of course! I know social networking is important but it rides a very fine line between a beneficial tool and distraction.
With the recent and future updates to Facebook, I see it becoming my main social network where I invest most of my time and make most of my connections. Which brings me to…
3. Big Photos Kill Tumblr
I’m not sure if the new Facebook is a Twitter killer or Google + killer but there is one thing I think it will kill: Tumblr. The blog-ish site has had a hard time finding a place in my daily media use. It has good features and I think the creators were doing some interesting things with the site, but it never seemed worth the time it takes to maintain a social network because it simply wasn’t unique enough.
Now, with Facebook displaying larger photos in the news feed and working towards the photo centric timeline, I don’t see any reason to invest more effort in Tumblr.
Update 5:40 p.m. — Looks like Gizmodo has my back on this one. They are calling the changes the “greatest thing Facebook’s ever done.”