Facebook Timeline and Apps turn users off with over-sharing

Jan 30, 2012
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Facebook Timeline and the Open Graphs "apps" are proving more turn-off than value-add to users, according to research by security firm Sophos and SlashGear, with many considering deleting their Facebook account after the recent profile changes. Over 51-percent of Facebook users told Sophos they were "worried" by Timeline, which lists all your activity on the site in chronological order; meanwhile, 45-percent of respondents to a separate SlashGear poll said they might abandon the social network in protest.

Sophos surveyed around 4,110 Facebook users, and discovered less than 8-percent actually like the new Timeline layout. Just over 8-percent said they thought they would get used to it, while a third said "I don't know why I'm still on Facebook."

In SlashGear's own survey, just 3-percent of over 5,800 respondents said they were keen to take advantage of the new Timeline Apps. 5-percent said they intended to "try a couple of Facebook apps" but over a fifth of respondents said they were yet to be convinced.

Neither poll is scientific in its methodology, though both suggest that Facebook Timeline and the Open Graph Apps - which allow users to pull in more personal data culled from third-party services, such as when they eat at restaurants, travel or exercise - are still viewed with suspicion. Facebook made the new Timeline profile layout mandatory and will be forcing users to upgrade over the next few weeks, though early-adopters of the beta have been using it since mid-December and soon discovered that there was no way of turning it off.

Facebook maintains that Timeline shares no more information than the previous profile system, and that the Apps are accessible on a voluntary basis.


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