Facebook Couples Profiles: Breaking Up Hard To Do

Facebook's new Couples profile puts the story of your relationship out there. You can curate it -- but users are already groaning at this un-requested "feature."

Debra Donston-Miller

November 13, 2012

3 Min Read
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5 Facebook Rivals Hot On Its Heels

5 Facebook Rivals Hot On Its Heels

5 Facebook Rivals Hot On Its Heels (click image for larger view and for slideshow)

I was reminded of the Taylor Swift song "The Story of Us" when I heard about Facebook's new Couples feature. The new profiles put the story of "us" out there -- whether you want it there or not.

If you are listed as "in a relationship" on Facebook, surf on over to Facebook.com/us. There, you will see a timeline of the updates, photos, events and so on that you and your significant other have both been tagged in.

There may be people who love the new feature, but their voices are not being heard today. Rather, there is some pretty loud outcry over Facebook's many surprise changes -- outcry fueled by the fact that the changes are often puzzling and the new features are seldom anything anyone wanted in the first place.

Facebook's Couples Profiles

Couples Profiles are new, but Facebook has had a similar feature for a couple of years in its Friendship Pages. On these pages, you could see the posts that you and friends have in common.

Friendship pages are now being updated with the Timeline look and feel. (You can check out Friendship Pages by clicking on the gear icon at the top of Facebook contacts' timelines.)

Facebook told CNN that users cannot deactivate the pages, but that they can control what is shared on Facebook by using the privacy settings for each post. Facebook added that users can "curate" Friendship pages by hiding stories they do not want to appear.

Seems like an awful lot of work for something that many people don't want and didn't ask for in the first place.

A truly unscientific survey among my own Facebook friends -- many of whom are among the business and tech folds -- yielded the following: "Eww" (that was actually my first thought, exactly), "Get a room," "Yikes," "OMG LOL," and "Who gets custody if the relationship ends?"

That last point is an interesting one. Being the parent of two teenage girls, I have seen how relationships on Facebook (and elsewhere) come and go. I have also seen how some people fool with that status to make a point, make a joke, whatever. Facebook has said there has to be some kind of reciprocity to the relationship for all of this to work, but it still feels like hurt feelings, misunderstandings and general shenanigans are sure to abound. Indeed, I wonder how many statuses we'll see turn to "single" to avoid Facebook couple-dom altogether.

As Taylor Swift sang in the aforementioned song: "I don't know what to say since the twist of fate/When it all broke down and the story of us/Looks a lot like a tragedy now, the end."

What do you think of Facebook's new Couples profiles? Am I just being a cynic? Is there something I am missing? Please let us know in the comments section below.

Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.

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