Don’t Be A Channel Changer Over Facebook Timeline.

I’m hearing some reaction to the Facebook changes that have to do with its Timeline feature and frankly, I think the hysteria is quite overblown.

Whoa. Let’s slow down and remember a couple things.

1) You don’t own Facebook.
They can do whatever they want and it’s your choice to participate in it for free. I didn’t say they always make moves that are right (even Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t say that). But you and I both know they’re in control of the site at the end of the day.

2)  Switching to another channel over what is essentially a layout change is frivolous.
You can flee to another social media channel in protest…that will eventually make changes to its layout/visibility settings that you’ll protest, causing you to either go back to Facebook or another channel entirely. The Timeline change may annoy you but it’s not worth picking up and moving over. I saw a comment from someone who said “I’m going to Google Plus and I hope they won’t mess with anything the way Facebook is!”

Let me save you some time. They will.

You may like the changes, you may not, but they will change in appearance and functionality from what they have now. Regardless…why place the importance on that rather than the importance of conveying and sharing great content with the audience you care about? Does it prevent you from doing that? No. When a social media channel prevents you from easily creating and sharing the content that matters, that’s when I have issues with it. If another channel can do that for me in a more advanced way, you bet I’ll take a closer look at that option – not necessarily to replace the former, but to add to the overall mix.

If you want greater control over the content you create and share, take a look at your website and blog. These aren’t the only places your content should be living, but they are the places where a lot of your content can originate from.

Facebook is often a great distribution channel, but not necessarily the greatest place for certain types of content to originate from. This is why putting the whole of your brand into outside social media channels while ignoring your own “house” is a mistake that’s really worth getting upset about – a lot more upsetting than anything Facebook is going to change.

Sometimes it’s not worth fighting a gorilla.

This photo from someecards.com (yes, proofers, there’s a misspelling in it, but you get the idea) pretty much sums up the “uproar” every time Facebook makes a change to their structure, layout and functionality.

We don’t have to like every change Facebook makes but this is part of the deal we’ve made with ourselves by using a service that literally costs nothing and is larger than most countries in the world. Would you rather pay for the right to use Facebook? Probably not. Even if you did, I doubt this would mean you’d have the opportunity to have your voice heard above the hundreds of millions using it. You may pay someone to help you facilitate a presence on a social networking site like yours truly, but there’s still only so much that can be done – when the sites want to make a change, they’re going to make a change. And they’re probably not going to ask you for your opinion – even though they should more often in advance.

When you do pay for services like project management tools or web hosting, you should, of course, expect more. You should expect better customization to your needs and better customer service.¬†But wasting your time getting angry over a free social network making minor changes? Just roll with it and look at the other side of the coin – be glad that a service like Facebook is making an attempt to evolve and make things better. If not, you can employ the same practice you would in watching television – change the channel by using something else. Not that I’d recommend that if that’s where your audience is primarily living, but just saying there are options if it upsets you that much.

But in the scope of the world’s true problems, Facebook making some minor tweeks is really not a big deal.

I’d just take a deep breath and be glad it’s Friday.