|Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2012 conference. (AFP PHOTO/Kimihiro Hoshino)
On Nov. 8 Facebook rolled out 'couple pages.' Pages that chart the interaction via posts and photos of two people on the site who have registered themselves as "in a relationship," this personal history is available to see by visiting facebook.com/us, but what do users think? Do people really want to see the history of their relationship tracked on a social networking site?
The concept of joint pages are not exactly a new feature: in 2010 Facebook Friendship pages allowed users to see posts that a user and a friend had in common, but what is new is the special URL linking two people via a page automatically generated by Facebook.
Reaction to the development has been largely negative online. Numerous media sites have dedicated articles to the new feature, including The Telegraph, where editor Emma Barnett called the pages "cringeworthy and interventionist", and Today.com where, writing for the Digital Life section, Suzanne Choney called the idea "saccharine and very 1950s."
Stephanie Mlot over at Pcmag.com calls the changes "a digital scrapbook that you never asked to be created," blogger Jennifer Wright at thegloss.com wrote "I want to vomit" while Rebecca Phale at The Mary Sue is concerned with the fact that users were not given the choice to opt out of the changes, writing, "Why wouldn't Facebook make it something you can opt out of, or at the very least send affected users a message to let them know it's being created for them?" Eileen Brown over at tech blog ZDnet calls the changes "creepy" and points out "My real friends know the status of my relationships, they know where I am, and what I do with my life."
Twitter users were also largely up in arms about the changes; for example CEO and tech start-up investor Peter Shankman tweeted, "Facebook launches 'Couples' pages. In related news, I just threw up all over my desk," internet marketer Kevin Perera tweeted "Facebook couples pages - don't make me sick" and blogger Cassie Johnston tweeted "The new Facebook couples profiles are mega weird."
However, a few people at least see the positive side, such as relationship councilor and author Debra Macleod who told Canadian broadcaster CTV news that "she applauds the development of the 'us' page," stating couples need to be more public about who they are with.
As sites such as IBNlive point out, other Facebook users can also see what couples look like together by inserting the URL "http://www.facebook.com/INSERT-FACEBOOK-USERNAME-OF-FIRST-PARTNER?and=INSERT-FACEBOOK-USERNAME-OF-OTHER-PARTNER" , so for example to see Mark Zuckerberg's relationship the URL becomes http://www.facebook.com/zuck?and=chan.