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Facebook phasing out support for IE7

IE7 has a market share of around 4%
IE7 has a market share of around 4%
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IE7 has a market share of around 4%
IE7 has a market share of around 4%

One year after Facebook officially renounced support for Internet Explorer 6, it seems that Internet Explorer 7 is destined to experience a similar fate as support for the ailing browser is lacking in Facebook’s most important recent innovation – Timeline.

Facebook Timeline, Facebook’s radical new profile redesign first introduced in September and made available to all earlier this month, does not support IE7. IE7 users visiting profile pages that would otherwise be Timeline-enabled are presented with the old Facebook profile design, complete with a number of very evident styling issues caused by IE7’s treatment of the style sheet language CSS.

Facebook has opted against partial Timeline support in IE7, instead choosing to ignore this browser version altogether, suggesting that this is the beginning of plans to phase-out support for Microsoft’s five year-old browser.

Facebook’s refusal to support IE7 in Timeline is bold but nevertheless comes as no great surprise. Earlier this year Google announced that it would no longer officially support IE7 in many of its popular services, including Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs. IE7’s global market share continues to dwindle, now standing at a little over 4%, and just 2.2% above the ever-enduring IE6.

For those that have enabled Timeline on their profile but want to revert back to the old design for whatever reason, Facebook’s non-support of IE7 offers a simple solution – either by loading-up the ancient browser or by setting your user-agent to IE7 in Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Image courtesy of robceemoz on Flickr.

38 Comments

  1. […] The Sociable reported that the new Facebook profile does not support IE7 at all, and that users of the five-year-old Microsoft browser see the old Facebook profile. Even worse, the old profile comes complete with display issues for IE7 users, as some of the style-sheet language does not mesh well with the browser, according to The Sociable, which added that IE7’s global market share for browsers is just slightly more than 4 percent. […]

  2. Hate to break it to you, but we just haven’t finished working out all the kinks for Timeline in IE 6 and 7 yet. We still support both those browsers and have no immediate plans on dropping their support. I would strongly recommend not masking your user agent as IE7 because it will force Facebook to send alternate styles and scripts to your browser and may cause Facebook to display incorrectly or some features not to work in the correct way for your browser.

    1. @Stefan Parker Well that is unfortunate to hear. A big company like Facebook with a huge user base could be a force for change in the browser world, by pushing the remaining people off of IE6 and IE7.

  3. Hate to break it to you, but we just haven’t finished working out all the kinks for Timeline in IE 6 and 7 yet. We still support both those browsers and have no immediate plans on dropping their support. I would strongly recommend not masking your user agent as IE7 because it will force Facebook to send alternate styles and scripts to your browser and may cause Facebook to display incorrectly or some features not to work in the correct way for your browser.

    1. @Stefan Parker Well that is unfortunate to hear. A big company like Facebook with a huge user base could be a force for change in the browser world, by pushing the remaining people off of IE6 and IE7.

    2. @Stefan Parker I’d hate to be the engineer(s) working on IE6/7 compatibility. That must be a frustrating endeavor.

  4. […] An article on Ireland-based tech site “The Sociable” said IE7 cannot properly display Facebook’s newest Timeline feature, and displays the old-style Facebook profile format instead. “IE7 users visiting profile pages that would otherwise be Timeline-enabled are presented with the old Facebook profile design, complete with a number of very evident styling issues caused by IE7’s treatment of the style sheet language CSS,” Sociable.co said. […]

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Darren McCarra
Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.