Facebook: New Timeline Feature Makes It Easier to Find Who ‘Defriended’ You

By ABC News

Sep 24, 2011 9:00am

ABC News’ Josh Cohan reports:

If Facebook’s recent changes have left you angry and perplexed, brace yourself for some more unsettling news.

When Facebook fully rolls out its latest overhaul in the coming weeks, anonymous “defriending” – or the simple act of removing someone from your Facebook friends list without their knowledge – will become a thing of the past. Sort of.

On Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced a new feature called timeline, which aims to provide users with a visual display of their lives, as documented on the social media site.

“[A]ll your stories, all your apps, a new way to express who you are,” Zuckerberg said at the company’s annual developers conference in San Francisco.

But the timeline will also let you see older versions of your friends list and a button that not-so-subtly indicates whether you’re still “friends,”  BuzzFeed reported Friday.

“There is a way where you can go in to a certain point in time and basically, if you look at your friends tab, maybe from three years ago, and you see the ‘Add Friend’ button from someone in that list, that will basically tell you that they have defriended you since you became their friend,” said Meghan Peters, community manager at Mashable.

But rest assured: those old college acquaintances, distant relatives, and annoying serial posters whom you’ve since given the social axe, can’t easily find out that you’ve decided to cut ties.

“It’s not going to automatically notify you and it’s not publicly being pushed into any streams anywhere,” Peters said.

Users will have to know where to look for the information.

“I think that people will definitely be upset by it. I mean, it always hurts to know that someone isn’t your friend anymore,” Peters said.

“Some people might understand, ‘Well, hey, I haven’t talked to that person in four years anyway. Maybe we shouldn’t be friends on Facebook.”

Along with timeline, Zuckerberg announced Thursday the integration of a number of streaming music services like Rdio, Slacker and Spotify, into Facebook’s interface.

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