Less than a week after rolling out a brand new news feed design that emphasizes recommended content and a cleaner layout, Facebook announced similar tweaks to its Timeline product on Wednesday, involving a simplified layout and sections for users to note their favorites books and movies.
The updated Timeline, originally launched in September 2011, will allow users to designate their favorite books, movies, and music, which makes sense as the updated news feed has specific tabs where users can view recommendations and news related to categories like music (Om wrote last week that he thought adding an emphasis on music was a smart element to the re-design). Clearly, Facebook needs more users thinking of the site as a place to talk about music, and emphasizing this on Timeline could help.
If users see a book or movie that a friend has marked as a favorite, Facebook will make it easier for the user to mark it as their favorite as well.
When asked about the influence of the news feed changes on the Timeline updates, a Facebook spokesperson replied that “The new News Feed and timeline work together to now show a more visual experience. Both make you and your friends’ activity and app stories more prominent,” and it’s hard not to draw a link between the timing and similarities between the two changes.
Users will also have a dedicated space on the Timeline to show their activity in other apps, and Facebook used Instagram as an example in announcing the Timeline tweaks. While CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last week that Instagram wouldn’t receive preferential treatment on the Facebook platform, it’s clear that the new Timeline is a way for users to incorporate their photos on the site, a feature that didn’t get much mention last week. And it could encourage other third-party developers to integrate more heavily with Facebook’s platform.
The Timeline is also getting an updated design that’s more in line with the new news feed, with a cleaner look and simpler layout. The company said it would be rolling out the changes over the next few weeks.