The new Facebook Timeline profile view isn’t just a visual revolution for Facebook profile pages. It’s a conceptual move that defends it against visual blogging platforms like Tumblr which are becoming social networks unto themselves.
No longer is your profile page a list of posts and links. It’s now a collage of sorts, almost like a Tumblr blog. And that’s exactly the goal for Facebook.
While people post very different kinds of content on Tumblr and Facebook, the fact remains: personal pages and blogs are becoming more visual and less text oriented.
Tumblr has experienced enormous success and is raising a ton of money—the site gets 6.5 billion monthly pageviews (as of September), which is more than Wikipedia. Facebook is hardly threatened, boasting over 500 billion pageviews per month, but we all know how much Facebook loves to eat up great ideas.
Check out two screenshots of the new Facebook timeline (above) and a Tumblr blog (below)
The comparison becomes uncanny when you compare the Tumblr mobile app and Facebook’s new Timeline mobile version. Facebook’s mobile app is used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, and is a critical way that people engage with the social network.
You know how Google+ and Facebook automatically pull a picture from an article you’re linking? The picture next to a link makes you much more likely to click that link. This kind of visual credibility is becoming commonplace for link, music, and video sharing. With Timeline, Facebook is attempting to capitalise on that. Here’s an old Facebook profile, which looks less interesting:
Users have been by no means bailing on Facebook for Tumblr, but this is just an example of where Facebook thinks the internet is headed conceptually. Facebook is saying “nice idea, Tumblr.”
Google+, on the other hand, looks miles behind visually. Fortunately, Google+ users don’t seem to care much. The focus inside Google+ seems to be conversations centering around links, as opposed to just following people who post cool stuff.