Facebook Reportedly Expands Test Of New Single-Column Timeline Feature

January 9, 2013 0

Los Angeles — Remember the Facebook Timeline changes we reported to you last month, Facebook has been working on a redesign of Timeline away from the 2 column layout. Well, the social media giant is continues to expand its test that revamps users’ Timelines by creating a single, more prominent column for statuses and posts, as well as redesigns the section headers by doing away with the clunky image boxes that had appeared since Timeline first launched. This time, some users in New Zealand were able to discover the new feature which, according to them, has since gone live yesterday.

The refurbished Timeline has gone live for all Facebook users in New Zealand, which apparently appears to be Facebook’s first port of call for new rollouts.

And this time, the news was discovered by Owen Williams, a New Zealand-based correspondent to The Next Web, who shared his screen captures of all discourses from friends and status updates in the left-hand side column single-column layout, while the social network informed TNW it had “no other details to share right now.”

The screen-grabs also reveal that the left side column has been slightly enlarged to put emphasis on messages, with the right hand side now made smaller as a result. For example, the right portion of the Timeline is now smaller — i.e. the Friends box is now 3 x 3 instead of 2 x 4. The right corner also displays the list of friends, recent activity, and other updates.

However though, the refreshed Timeline is not a drastic change from what you currently see, but it is a pretty significant one. Upon first glance you will notice that the image tiles at the top that allow users to access your photos, friends, likes, and map are gone. They have been replaced by tabs for “Timeline,” “About,” “Friends,” “Photos,” and “More.”

According to TNW, which said that the boxes that linked to friends, photos, maps, and likes no longer appear, with those sections accessible via a menu that brings them up separately. Also, users’ profile pics have been moved down, out of the cover photo a bit. The info that was previously below the profile pic (location, job, etc.) has been moved to the right. Now, a ‘More’ tab offers access to about, friends, photos, maps, movies, TV shows, and music, as well as settings for activity from open graph applications. Relationship status is also missing from the header.

Arguably. the most noticeable difference in this new Timeline test comes when you scroll down. You will notice an expanded left-hand column, where status updates and friend posts appear. As we mentioned back in October, this test also streamlines these posts, displaying them in the left-hand column entirely. “Message” style posts will no longer fill in the right-hand column after a users’ open graph and other activity runs out.

Among other things, apart from the order of the boxes at the top of the page is now determined by a “Collections Manager”. Here is what the new layout looks like:

Nevertheless, the new Timeline is indeed cleaner and easier to navigate. Previously, it could get awkward when messages would appear on both right and left columns, making it easier to miss or gloss over an update from a friend. Of course, the new design does have the issue of wasted space on the right hand side as you scroll down a Timeline but, since most people want to keep up with the latest information — which does not require much scrolling — we think that the positives outweigh the negatives.

Lastly, the timing makes sense: Facebook has a tendency to roll out updates to its service on a Wednesday. That suggests the rest of Facebook’s billion users will start seeing the change as the day progresses around the world. And of course, this almost certainly means that it will make its way to other countries worldwide shortly.