Facebook discusses Timeline feature, 'likes'

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Facebook account manager Brian Wheeler discusses some of the new features coming to the social networking site in an event hosted by Communications Council Wednesday night. Wheeler highlighted the importance of Facebook’s new ‘Timeline’ feature that organizes users’ posts in a yearly, archival fashion.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Peart | Daily Texan Staff

Although a “dislike” button is not expected to be implemented to the Facebook page, Facebook account manager Brian Wheeler said members can expect great changes in the near future.

Austin Facebook account managers discussed the work behind running the social network Wednesday at an event sponsored by the Communication Council. The visit was coordinated because a Facebook office recently branched into Austin from the main office in California, said Spanish junior Brittany Dye, Communication Council career and alumni relations chair.

The Austin branch focuses on the security of the site but works with advertising as well, she said.

“We focus on what we need to do to help friends communicate and share their stories,” Wheeler said. “That’s the core of what we do.”

The newest update to Facebook is the “Timeline” feature, a page layout which allows the page owner to post permanent pictures and videos on their “wall” to represent themselves in a timeline format, Facebook account manager Charlton Gholson said. The pictures will appear as soon as the page is clicked, therefore making it easier to learn someone’s story, Gholson said.

“I realized I didn’t exist online before 2004 because I didn’t have a Facebook yet,” Gholson said. “Through Timeline I can now share my past as well as my present.”

Advertisers have found interest in Facebook because they can use Facebook friends to promote their products, Gholson said.

“When you’re on your ‘wall’ and see ads on the side, those ads were picked for you because your friends like that product,” Gholson said. “If you look under the ad, it will tell you the friends that like that product in hopes that you will like something because your friends like it.”

The site is considering adding a few more active words, Wheeler said.

“Like is such a passive word,” he said. “Okay. You like something. What does that mean? Did you buy it? Do you want it? Imagine being able to say you are reading, buying or want something.”

Wheeler said Facebook has completed only 1 percent of what it hopes to accomplish, although he cannot say the ultimate goal of the site because the technology may not have been invented.

“Some people love the changes and some people hate them,” Wheeler said. “There’s obviously a lot of things that go on the site and we cannot get them perfect all the time but we try to change them when we get complaints.”