Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Timeline? Stream? For Facebook, Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery!

“One way to think about this is as a timeline–or a stream.”Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the new look for profiles and home pages on the hot social-networking service, March 3, 2009

As part of its ongoing rejiggering of its social-networking offerings, AOL is formally rolling out its expected Lifestream platform today, with a new “timeline” depicting a user’s online life in a streaming horizontal calendar called a Lifestory. –A BoomTown post about new changes to the AOL social network, Bebo, Feb. 23, 2009


Yesterday, Facebook introduced another new look yesterday at an open house at its Palo Alto, Calif., HQ.

It’s yet another iteration of the social-networking giant–this time to make Facebook seem more active for its massively growing cadre of users, the count of which is heading quickly toward the 200 million mark.

Much of the analysis centered around how Facebook was trying desperately to mimic Twitter, especially since Zuckerberg said in a blog post that it was (without naming Twitter, which it had tried to buy):

“This creates a continuous stream of information that delivers a deeper understanding for everyone participating in it. As this happens, people will no longer come to Facebook to consume a particular piece or type of content, but to consume and participate in the stream itself.”

Frankly, it’s no big deal if Facebook copies Twitter or whatever is popular out there. After all, with the big numbers it’s putting up on the board in terms of audience, it’s hard to stay as innovative, as much as be a fast follower to those who are nimbler or need to be bold.

As the old business bromide goes: The plains are covered with the bodies of pioneers.

Actually, to my mind, the new look of Facebook also resembles in look and in name even the more recent launch of Time Warner (TWX) online unit’s AOL Bebo service.

Ah, poor AOL! Even when it is actually innovating–make no mistake, its new version of Bebo is really quite interesting–it’s likely to be an upward battle to gain any traction.

But, at least, Zuckerberg is an admirer.