Look at Post It notes.

They seem like such an obvious invention, right?

What about liquid paper? Apple peelers? Tampons? Backpacks? Well, once upon a time they didn’t exist.

Neither did Facebook’s new Cover Photo – yet now it’s here, it seems so bleeding obvious! A large photo at the top of our Facebook profile. As if we couldn’t have had one years ago.

Last week I dragged myself out of bed to listen to Mark Zuckerberg announce the latest changes to Facebook (billed as some of the most fundamental changes in a long time) and the Cover Photo was one of those changes.

Since then I’ve had a chance to test the new Timeline features including the Cover Photo, which I must say is a lot of fun (see my effort below).

I put my Twitter handle image into the Facebook cover photo
I put my Twitter handle image into the Facebook cover photo

Now one week later, these things have struck me about the Facebook changes:

  • Why didn’t we all think of Cover Photo a long time ago? It seems so obvious. Insert one large picture at top of Facebook profile. Hardly rocket science.
  • The new Timeline is both funny and startling. You have the option to easily click onto a past year, and have your Facebook content from that period served up to you. You’ll laugh at the old photos (especially if you change your hairstyle a lot). You’ll shake your head at how you viewed some things that seemed so important then, but are of little consequence now. And you may be dismayed to see images of you cuddling people that you don’t even associate with any longer! (Steel yourself).
  • You may feel pressure to contribute to Facebook once again. If the new Timeline is “the story of your life” you better make sure it looks good, right? I’ve already heard of people going back over their timeline, ‘cleaning it up’, trying to add more images, and in short working on their personal brand. So the Timeline can make you feel the same eagerness you felt when you opened up a Facebook account for the very first time.

For many of us, our relationship with Facebook has been steadily souring. We’re either tired of Facebook, busy playing on other spaces like Twitter or Tumblr, or wary of the privacy issues.

But I believe the result of the recent Facebook changes may be as Zuckerberg envisioned: it could renew our love affair with Facebook.

During his announcement at the f8 conference, Zuckerberg talked about emotional connections and the Timeline video was certainly very emotive.

If Facebook can get its 800 million users to actually care about their Profile again and enjoy each other’s timelines, maybe Facebook can begin to claw back some of that love (not to mention even more of our internet time).

Mind you, I don’t know how long this renewed love affair will last. If you’re anything like me, you never check other people’s profiles. Hell, I’ve even stopped looking at the profiles of new connections. Once upon a time, it might have been fun to see what an old acquaintance is up to – but now, who has time? Not me.

So I suspect that while we may tend to our new Profiles and Timelines, this won’t necessarily mean we spent a great deal of time digesting our friends’ profiles over the longer term.

Or is that just me?

Do you look at friends’ profile pages, or just spend time on your newsfeed? Are you looking forward to the new Cover Photo and Timeline? Tell me what you think.

Related blogs:  5 Reasons the new Facebook Could Make You Happy and Facebook Flashbacks