The Top 20 Tech Stories of 2011


Time for Facebook

Few things set the Internet in an uproar like a change to Facebook's interface. To be fair, sometimes such changes bring along with it a host of concerns about privacy and security. But there are times when we get comfortable with a certain interface and we resist all attempts to alter it, even if the new way is demonstrably better than the old.

Facebook's Timeline organized wall posts chronologically. Once activated, the Timeline changed the appearance of a user's wall. Visitors to that wall would see that user's Facebook history laid out in a long, interactive timeline. Privacy settings let users determine who could see each piece of information.

Another feature Facebook introduced was a real-time ticker on the right side of users' News Feed section. In this Ticker, you could see what your friends were up to on Facebook. Depending upon which privacy and security settings were in play, you might see your friends commenting on someone else's Facebook profile even if you didn't know the other person.

Other big stories for Facebook came in the form of partnerships with Skype and Spotify. Facebook chat can now use Skype's video features, giving users the ability to have video calls directly through Facebook. And the integration with Spotify let users share and discover music automatically.