Facebook angers users with overhaul

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Picture of Mark ZuckerbergPA

Social networking giant Facebook has plunged itself into yet another controversy with a new overhaul of its service. It's launching something called Timeline, which will make all of the posts you read public, and is going to try and become the digital centre of everybody's life, predicting what you're going to want to watch, listen to and soforth.

Alarmed users have been posting on Twitter that they will close their accounts as they now have to ask all of their Facebook "friends" to adjust their individual settings or else people will see exactly what they're doing, all the time.

Others are suggesting that "helping" by finding entertainments people will like is just one step too far towards complete control freakery. Overall it's safe to call this one a limited success. Or is it?

Knee-jerk
I take a slightly different view. First let's assume that whatever changes Facebook puts in place, someone is going to complain. You can please some of the people some of the time but you can't please all of the people all of the time, the old saying goes.

Let's also assume that if people are putting things online that they are not happy to share, they're a bit daft putting them there in the first place. This is surely just common sense - the first generation to use social media has arguably been guilty of going a bit bonkers with it and reporting everything they do, but was this ever a good idea?

The Facebook-recommends-what-you-read-and-hear stuff sounds a bit more sinister - until you consider that Amazon has been offering the same schtick for a while now, putting forward offers based on previous buying patterns.

I'm not saying these new moves are right or that they'll work for every member. But I'll bet they'll look a lot less alarming when they've had a couple of weeks to bed in.

Other features
Facebook is now more closely tied in with Spotify for the music networking - and you will also be able to share articles from the Guardian, Observer and Independent. I'll be intrigued to hear what some of the commenters on these boards make of that selection of newspapers!