Why Facebook’s New Features Might Be Its Most Important Yet

Facebook, since its conception, has issued many large changes to the service. Some have been well-received, often brilliant additions to social networking site, including such features as Facebook Messages, among others.

But others have been much less so. Facebook groups, for the most part, has been all but completely forgotten. Facebook Deals, too, was heavily underutilized by users. After just their fourth month of getting into the daily deals business, Facebook quickly realized that they most likely weren’t going to achieve any significant traction with the service, and quickly decided to cut it. 

But now, Facebook is currently unleashing some new and potentially game-changing features to their service, including music, news and media sharing through their new ticker feature, and timeline, which grants users the ability to view all of their previous Facebook shenanigans in a far more convenient timeline, divided up into individual years.

But, as is usual, some of these new features have been met with a huge amount of skepticism. The ticker that has recently been introduced into the Facebook ecosystem has, to many, been seen as an annoyance. An irritating little fly of a feature that only further clutters the screen with often superfluous information. I mean, who really cares if Joe made 5 new friends? 

Still, these features stand as an important step in a new direction for Facebook. Facebook hopes, and boldly plans, to be around for decades. While the media-sharing functionalities seem to more closely bring together friends based on the content that they are sharing, timeline, on the other hand, seems to be bringing an air of sentimentality about Facebook that it has (aside from the sparse “on this day on so-and-so” updates) sorely been missing.

And truthfully what the timeline suggests is that yes, Facebook will be around for many, many years to come. And better yet, that people will be using it and engaging with their friends on it for years beyond that.

After all, Facebook is currently the center of the social media world for just about all of our communication. Even Twitter runs through Facebook, and vice versa.

Which is why, in some ways, Facebook’s timeline could be their most important feature yet. Whereas features like Facebook Messages, and the newsfeed have brought increased utility to the social network, the timeline simply organizes information into a sort of diary for all of our Facebook misadventures. It stands as a place for users to explore both Facebook and their own development. A place to be nostalgic.

And creating a deeper emotional connection amongst its users is still an area for substantial growth for Facebook. In that regard, Facebook’s timeline seems to be, in more ways than one, just the beginning. Facebook will undeniably be around for at least another decade. I can almost guarantee it, simply based on their almost perpetual string of innovations over the years.

But Facebook aims to be much more than just a company in the following years and decades. Facebook wants to become an inseparable part of our hearts and minds. Something that develops and grows alongside generations of adults.

And right now, they’re off to a great start.

What do you think about Facebook’s new features?