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Is Facebook Timeline Going Out of Line?

Claimed to be the biggest social network on the planet, Facebook keeps changing its online interface every now and then. But it doesn’t realize that it’s giving pain to the users with every change it offers.

It’s an open secret now that Facebook people are clueless about the user experience (UX) design aspects for a colossal user-driven site like Facebook. (Read: Seven Serious UX Flaws on Facebook)

The latest headache for users comes from Facebook in the form of its Timeline. It’s so repulsive that the cyberspace is going meme with complaints against Facebook’s design sense. An analysis of over 138,000 social media comments reveals overwhelmingly negative user backlash.

Attensity, a leading provider of social analytics and engagement applications, announced Wednesday, May 16, the results of its analysis of public reaction in social media to the new Facebook Timeline format for profile pages.

[ Also Read: Five Bitter Truths about Social Media ]

Using Attensity Analyze, the company’s social analytics application, Attensity processed 138,572 public comments posted on Facebook, Twitter and blogs over a six-week period. The results showed an overwhelming 93 percent of comments containing negative sentiment toward Timeline.

“We were rather shocked at the degree of frustration expressed by Facebook users toward the new Timeline format,” said Rebecca MacDonald, vice president of marketing at Attensity.

“We knew from anecdotal evidence that many users —both individuals and businesses— were unhappy with it, but the results generated by Attensity Analyze show a degree of negative sentiment we hadn’t anticipated, given that Facebook is still in the process of rolling out Timeline to individual users.”

[ Also Read: Why and How Companies Use Facebook ]

Attensity’s data reveals a strong customer “churn” potential away from Facebook. The most frequently-appearing phrases in the messages are: “Delete FB Account”; “Hate New Timeline”; “Timeline Forced Changes”; “Switch to Other Social Network”; and “Will Delete FB.”

During the research timeframe, which included the March 30 deadline for businesses to convert their profile pages to Timeline, many users indicated their intention to try competing social network Google+, says Attensity.

Attensity used its Facebook Analytics Module available with Attensity Analyze, the next generation in voice of the customer analytics and engagement applications. The module enables business users to analyze publicly viewable Facebook comments, posts and surveys to extract deep business insights.

Photo courtesy: Attensity

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